Second day of clashes at Jerusalem flashpoint holy site

Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound for a second straight day on Monday

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Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound for a second straight day on Monday, with Islamic officials accusing Israeli authorities of breaking a tacit agreement on access during Ramadan.

Youths threw stones at police deployed at the site, while security forces fired tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets, AFP journalists reported.

Calm later returned to the site, considered sacred to both Jews and Muslims and where clashes regularly occur. A number of injuries were reported by Palestinian media, though the Red Crescent has yet to provide any figures.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said officers intervened to allow visits to the site to continue without further incident after "having obtained information on masked youths" taking up positions in the mosque overnight and blocking its doors.

A total of 10 suspects were arrested during the unrest on Sunday and Monday, police said later.

Islamic officials say Israeli authorities are allowing non-Muslim visitors into the compound in breach of a tradition which allows only worshippers to enter during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

The period, which began on Sunday, is the most solemn for Muslims and attracts the highest number of worshippers to the site.

Typically non-Muslims, including Jews, are allowed to visit the site during set hours, but cannot pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

The site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.

A statement from the Waqf, the Jordanian foundation that oversees the site, and Jerusalem Muslim spiritual leaders said Israeli authorities were "breaking a tacit agreement in place for years in a bid to show that they are the ones who have the final say at Al-Aqsa and not the Waqf."

Jordan also denounced what it called "Israeli violations" of rules at the site and said it had been in contact with Israeli officials on the issue.

Similar clashes had broken out on Sunday, with the Palestinian Red Crescent saying it took seven Palestinians to an east Jerusalem hospital for treatment of injuries from sponge-tipped bullets, tear gas and beatings.

Police said officers at the Old City site on Sunday arrested four masked youths "who were disrupting visits on the Temple Mount" by non-Muslims.

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