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Palestinians injured in al-Aqsa clashes

Dozens of Palestinians wounded by rubber-coated bullets and stun grenade canisters during clashes with Israeli police.

Last updated: 16 Apr 2014 09:16
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Palestinians are frequently arrested by Israeli police at the al-Aqsa compound [File: Reuters]

Israeli police have wounded dozens of Palestinians with stun grenade canisters and rubber-coated bullets after opening Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound to Jewish visitors.

Wednesday's clashes were the second this week, after Israeli police similarly opened the compound to non-Muslim visitors on Sunday.

Many Palestinians, already wounded from the attacks, stayed inside the al-Aqsa mosque out of fear they would be arrested when leaving.

The Haram al-Sharif, which includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is Islam's third holiest site and is known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Non-Muslim visits to the compound are permitted, but Jews are not allowed to pray at the site under Israeli law.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP news agency that Palestinians threw "stones and firecrackers" at police after the walled compound's gates had been opened. Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at the Palestinians.

On Monday, police arrested five Jews suspected of intending to sacrifice a goat at the al-Aqsa mosque complex, in a bid to reenact an ancient Passover ritual.

Palestinians anticipate incursions into the compound by groups of Jewish extremists, as Jewish fringe groups have vowed to demolish the mosques and build a third Temple.

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AFP
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