Dozens injured in fresh clashes at Al Aqsa mosque site - GulfToday

Dozens injured in fresh clashes at Al Aqsa mosque site


Israeli security forces evacuate a Palestinian man who was denied passage at a checkpoint to attend the last Friday prayers of Ramadan in the Al- qsa mosque compound. AFP

Fresh clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque compound wounded 42 people on the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan, following weeks of violence at the flashpoint religious site.

The Palestinian Red Crescent, which gave the toll, said no one was seriously hurt but 22 people were taken to hospital.

Israeli police released footage that showed young men on the compound hurling stones and fireworks in Friday's early hours. Officers entered the site at dawn.

A police statement said they went in to contain "rioters and lawbreakers," some of whom were trying to throw stones down towards the Western Wall.


Police said officers used "riot dispersal means" to contain the unrest and that two people had been arrested, one for throwing stones and the other one for "inciting the mob."

An AFP journalist said Israeli police fired rubber-coated bullets while a witness said they also used tear gas.

An uneasy calm had been restored at the compound following the unrest that surrounded morning prayers, but tensions remained high.

In the early afternoon, a crowd of Muslim worshippers gathered at Al Aqsa mosque. Some people waved Palestinian flags and the colours of the Gaza Strip-based Hamas group, an AFP journalist said.

The fresh unrest comes as the end of Ramadan nears early next week. Violence in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem has raised fears of another armed conflict similar to an 11-day war last year between Israel and Hamas, triggered in part by similar unrest at Al Aqsa.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders held a rally in Gaza late on Thursday, with calls to "defend" Jerusalem including Al Aqsa.

Agence France-Presse 

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