Police: Tourists blocked from Jerusalem holy sites after leaflets call for disturbances

Story highlights

  • The office of an activist denies responsibility, calls for an investigation
  • Leaflets call on the public to cause disturbances at the site, police say
  • The plaza is a holy site for Jews and Muslims
  • Muslim worshippers are allowed to enter the al-Aqsa mosque
Israeli authorities temporarily blocked Jews and foreign tourists from entering some of Jerusalem's most visited holy sites Sunday after leaflets called for causing disturbances there, police said.
The plaza known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary was temporarily closed after leaflets called on the public to "purify the site from enemies of Israel."
"The decision was made following a security assessment after leaflets were distributed in Jerusalem calling upon people to cause disturbances on the Temple Mount," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN.
The leaflets, distributed in Jerusalem and published on the Israeli news site Ynet, featured right-wing activist and Likud member Moshe Feiglin.
His office denied that Feiglin was connection to the leaflet, describing it as "fictitious" in a statement Sunday.
"Without a doubt, a simple police investigation would unveil who stands behind the ad," the statement said.
Police stopped Feiglin and several men from entering the site Sunday morning.
Rosenfeld said Muslim worshippers were still allowed to enter the al-Aqsa mosque, which is considered the third holiest site in Islam.
Jews consider the Temple Mount to be the holiest site in Jerusalem.
Authorities were expected to reassess the security situation later in the day.
Feiglin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, won 24% of the votes in the party's primary elections earlier this month.