Palestinians clash with police on Temple Mount

Muslim worshipers throw stones, Molotov cocktails at police, that entered the Al-Aqsa compound to disperse the rioters.

March 8, 2013 13:57
1 minute read.
Israeli police in front of Al Aqsa mosque [file].

Israeli police in front of Al Aqsa mosque 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Jerusalem police entered the Temple Mount on Friday following afternoon prayers, after Muslim worshipers began throwing rocks at officers on the Mugrabi Bridge that leads to the Western Wall Plaza.

Police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd. Nine police officers, a number of protesters, and a photographer from Yediot Aharonot were lightly wounded by the rocks.

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Paramedics treated nine police officers on the scene, and six of those required further medical attention at hospitals. Rioters also threw two fire bombs at police, and a number of Muslim youth barricaded themselves inside a mosque and refused to leave. Police arrested four Muslim worshipers and additional arrests are expected.

On Thursday, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said officers were “on high alert” for disturbances on Friday but did not issue age restrictions for Muslims wishing to enter for Friday prayers.

When police are worried about violence there, they prohibit men under the age of 40 from entering the Mount and require Jerusalem residency of other Muslims wishing to visit.

Last week, police twice closed the Temple Mount to non-Muslim visitors.

On Sunday, they closed the Mount after Likud MK Moshe Feiglin invoked his parliamentary rights and demanded access to the Dome of the Rock, which is currently closed to non-Muslims. On Wednesday, an altercation between a group of Jewish and Muslim women attracted a large, unruly crowd, forcing police to close the area again.

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