Groups of Muslim women hounded Florida Republican Congressman Dennis Ross during his visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem — chanting "Allah Akbar" and "Leave!" — as the lawmaker talked over the noise to a camera videotaping the confrontation at the holy site.
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The shocking tape was released Thursday by The Temple Institute, a nonprofit educational organization based in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City; Temple Mount is home to two of Islam’s most holy mosques.
Ross had been with with a group of Jewish visitors led by Yitzchak Reuven of the Temple Institute, and waited over an hour before being allowed entry to Temple Mount, according to The Yeshiva World News.
"It’s a little bit of a different reception than what I am used to, but coming from a country that respects freedom of religion, we respect what they are doing," Ross said as the women shouted and camera rolled.
Ross told the Washington Free Beacon
the agitators wanted to provoke his tour group.
"They followed us," he told the Free Beacon. "We were clearly pointed out to them.
Different people would appear throughout our little tour and wander around in the background with us.
"It was very strange, but we were kind of warned about this. They were trying to provoke us."
"As we walked over the bridge there and turned the corner, there was what you think would have been a group of older women in a prayer group," Ross said.
"As soon as they saw us they started yelling, 'Allah Akbar.' And they kept following us."
Ross said he never felt threatened, however.
"It’s just amazing to me that for such a holy site that they are so political in their aggression toward anything but their own religion," he told the newspaper.
The Temple Mount area has long been a site of tension and violence, the Free Beacon notes.
"It was unfortunate that he had to witness the duress and harassment that Jewish visitors are subjected to on a daily basis," Reuven said, Yeshiva World reports.
"It is important to note that these agitators receive direct payment from extremist Islamic organizations for their efforts to intimidate us, but they will not scare us away. The number of Jewish visitors to the site continue to grow."
Ross spent a week in Israel earlier this month on a mission sponsored by YES! to a Strong Israel, and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as members of the Israeli Knesset and Israeli Defense Forces members, Yeshiva World reports.
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