Even as Arab riots rocked the Temple Mount with explosions and firework, brick and rock attacks wounding police on Wednesday ahead of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) touted a "drop" in terror.
Touring Jerusalem's Old City and Jewish Quarter, Aharonovich praised the police for dealing with the riots while allowing Jews to continue accessing the holiest site in Judaism.
"It was important to open the Temple Mount to Jewish traffic. The Jerusalem district police did everything to allow that, and in truth many worshippers have arrived," said Aharonovich; police reported that 402 non-Muslims were let onto the site, including 90 Israeli Jews.
The minister neglected to note, however, that two Jewish youths were arrested for prostrating themselves in prayer at the site against the directives of the de facto ruler of the site, the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust), which contradict Israeli laws on religious freedom.
Aharonovich went on to claim "there has been a great effort by the district police, they've arrested hundreds of people and there is a 30% drop in rock throwing, and molotov cocktail throwing has completely stopped."
The claim is puzzling given that just last Monday five Arab children aged 12 to 13 were arrested for hurling molotov cocktails at Jews in the the mixed Jewish and Arab neighborhood of Abu Tor; they told police they did so because they "hate Jews."
As for the rock attacks, not only were Arab rioters throwing rocks and bricks on the Temple Mount even as Aharonovich spoke, but two weeks ago a Shabak (Israel Security Service) report revealed Arab terrorism in Jerusalem has grown exponentially in recent months, with 152 attacks in July and August.
The recent rise in terror, which has been termed a "silent intifada," has included live gunfire by Fatah terrorists in the capital, constant attacks with rocks, and anti-Semitic lynch-mobs. In one of the most potentially damaging events, Arab rioters recently tried toblow up a gas station in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood.
In response to the rise of terror in the capital, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has told the media not to talk about the problem, a stance Aharonovich apparently was supporting in his statements Wednesday.
It is worth pointing out that back in May a senior official told Arutz Sheva that Aharonovich has been failing at his job, terming him a "catastrophe."