Hamas terrorists in recent days have launched numerous mortar attacks on IDF soldiers working to unearth the attack tunnels under the Gaza security border, but the IDF on Friday nevertheless let 260 Gazan Arabs visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The clashes have seen repeated mortar shelling targeting the troops, and the IDF in return has responded with tank fire and airstrikes.
Evidently the rapid deterioration of the ceasefire that ended 2014 Operation Protective Edge was not seen as a reason to stop the weekly entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Mount given to Gazans on the Muslim day of rest. The move is seen by some as ironic, given that police kowtow to the Jordanian Waqf’s discriminatory demands to limit Jewish access and ban Jewish prayer on the Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
Around 260 Gazans were allowed to pass through the Erez crossing and travel by bus for Friday prayers at the Temple Mount, in a process approved by the IDF.
The security establishment has indicated it views the visits by Gazans to the Temple Mount as a humanitarian consideration for the population of Gaza that is not involved in terror.
Just hours earlier on Friday morning, Hamas terrorists continued the mortar attacks on IDF engineering corps forces working to find the terror tunnels, and in response Israel launched airstrikes on Hamas terror targets.
Also on Friday morning the Security Cabinet met to discuss the escalation on the Gazan front, a day after a Hamas terror tunnel was exposed crossing under the border. The tunnel ran at a depth of 28 meters (over 90 feet) and breached dozens of meters into sovereign Israeli territory.