5 Israeli policemen injured in Al-Aqsa clashes
Clashes erupted in the Al-Aqsa compound this morning in which 5 Israeli police were injured
Solidiers and worshippers frequently clash at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound (AA)
Published date: 12 February 2015 19:00 UTC | Last update: 4 years 9 months ago
Five Israeli policemen were injured in clashes with Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem after dozens of Israeli policemen forced their way into the holy site on Monday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted the clashes erupted “when riots began by Arabs” at Al-Magharbeh Gate of the compound.
The Israeli police said that dozens of Arab youths hurled stones and fireworks at the Israeli policemen, prompting the latter to disperse the crowd by force.
Earlier in the day, a Palestinian guard of the site said that Israeli policemen stormed the complex and fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinian worshippers inside the holy site.
“Dozens of Israeli policemen stormed Al-Aqsa compound through Al-Magharbeh Gate and attacked worshippers at Al-Qebali Mosque inside the complex,” the guard told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to media.
“The Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in a bid to force the worshippers out,” he said, adding that the worshippers responded by hurling shoes and stones at the Israeli troops.
According to the guard, the attack came during an attempt to make room for Jewish settlers to force their way into the holy site on the Jewish anniversary of the so-called ‘destruction of the temple,’ which would fall on Tuesday.
Tension continues to run high in the occupied West Bank amid Israel's devastating onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The Israeli operation in Gaza has left at least 1822 Palestinians – mostly civilians - dead and 9420 injured.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming Jerusalem as the unified capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.