Daily clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the streets of East Jerusalem and the Old City compound have stoked fears of a new Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.
Israeli police said Palestinians began throwing stones and firecrackers at police officers minutes before the sacred plaza, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, was to open for visitors.
The complex houses Islam’s al Aqsa mosque and is where two biblical Jewish temples once stood.
Reuters television footage showed a few Israeli border policemen running through the compound while a group of Jewish worshippers and tourists waited outside to enter.
“Police entered the area, pushed the masked rioters back, and they fled back into al Aqsa. Police closed the front gate of the mosque but did not enter,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
The officers used stun grenades to disperse the crowd and the situation was now under control, he said.
Omar Alkeswani, a Palestinian manager of al Aqsa, said police entered al-Aqsa and that 20 people were wounded in the clash. – Reuters