Israeli police, Palestinians clash at al-Aqsa

Israeli police hold their shields as the Dome of the Rock is seen in the background during clashes with stone-throwing protesters after Friday prayers, outside al-Aqsa mosque. (File photo: Reuters)

Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests, Agence France-Presse reported.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that violence erupted when police opened one of the walled compound’s gates to non-Muslim visitors, according to the regular visiting hours.

“Stones and a number of Molotov cocktails were thrown at police,” he told AFP.

“Police responded by using stun grenades and entered the Temple Mount area,” he added, using the Jewish term for the site where tradition says the biblical Jewish temples once stood.

It is revered as Judaism’s holiest place.

The plaza houses the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and is considered the third holiest site in Islam.

Although non-Muslim visitors are permitted, Jews are not allowed to pray at the site.

Rosenfeld could not say if Jews were among those seeking to visit on Sunday.

Village declared as military zone

Meanwhile, Israeli forces surrounded the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on Saturday and declared it a “closed military zone,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

After declaring the zone, Israeli forces shut the main streets of Nabi Saleh, closing an iron gate on the main road and placing boulders on other roads so as to prevent traffic from entering, the news agency added.

This spurred a protest which was put down by Israel forces, wounding two Palestinian civilians.

Israeli forces detained five people - including two Palestinian women and three foreign journalists - and lightly injured a French journalist during the protest in the village.

Nabi Saleh has witnessed weekly protests against Israel since the Jewish state is building the separation wall in the village.

The village’s residents demand lands confiscated by Israeli forces to build the wall be returned to them.

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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