(photo credit: courtesy)
Police burst onto the Temple Mount plaza on Friday afternoon following the end of prayers at Al-Aksa Mosque, after dozens of young worshipers started throwing rocks from the entrance of the Mugrahbi Gate.
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Three demonstrators were arrested in connection with rock throwing. There were no injuries.
Demonstrators began throwing rocks next to the Mugrahbi gate around 1:35 p.m. Border police entered the plaza around 1:40 and immediately broke up the demonstrations using force.
The rest of the worshipers left the premises by 2:30 without incident, the police reported.
It was the first time since last fall that police forces entered the Temple Mount plaza with force. In September, there was widespread rioting in east Jerusalem and the Old City, including at al-Aksa Mosque, after a private security guard killed a Silwan resident.
Police did not place limits on who could enter the Temple Mount on Friday. When demonstrations are expected or tensions are especially high, security forces only allow male worshipers over the age of 50 who have blue Israeli ID cards to enter the plaza, though women of all ages are permitted to enter.
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These limitations were in place on June 3, the Friday before Naksa Day, “the setback,” anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, as well as the Friday before Nakba Day, “the catastrophe,” the anniversary of the 1948 Independence War.
Other areas of east Jerusalem were quiet on Friday afternoon, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.
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