Israeli police arrested 13 Palestinians in the grounds of Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque complex on Sunday after police and tourists visiting the site were stoned, a police spokesman said.
“Stones were thrown at tourists and police officers. Police have made thirteen arrests,” Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “The situation is calm at present.”
He said he did not know the cause of the incident.
Nasser Kos, a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City who was at the site during the incident, told AFP that a group of Christian tourists entered the compound. Among them, Palestinians identified religious Jews and began hurling stones at police, Kos said.
Police used tear gas to disperse the Palestinians, none of whom was hurt, Kos said.
Rosenfeld said one policeman was lightly injured by a stone that hit him on the head, and he was treated on the site.
A Palestinian protest was staged a week ago at the site, which is revered by Jews as the site of their biblical Jewish temple, when a group of Jewish nationalist hardliners attempted to visit.
They were prevented by police from doing so and calm was restored.
The Al-Aqsa compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount, is home to the third-most sacred site in Islam. It is venerated by Jews as their holiest site, where King Herod's temple once stood before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.