Israeli security forces enter al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Witnesses say Israeli police used stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets against Palestinians.

    Israeli security forces have entered al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem amid fresh clashes in the area.

    Witnesses told Al Jazeera that Sunday's confrontation between Israeli forces and Palestinians began after officers entered the compound.

    As of 7am GMT, hundreds of Palestinians had gathered outside the mosque to prevent Israeli police from going any further.


    Timeline: Al-Aqsa Mosque


    Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Jerusalem, said police forces used stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets against the Palestinians.

    "It doesn't appear as if the clashes went far beyond the gate where police entered, nor are there reports of any injuries," he said.

    Inside Story: Can Netanyahu change al-Aqsa's status quo?

    "These confrontations at al-Aqsa Mosque come at a very tense time.

    "Over the past several days, there have been frequent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers who go to the site."

    Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam's third holiest site after Saudi Arabia's Mecca and Medina.

    In a statement to Al Jazeera, Asi Aharoni, Jerusalem police spokesperson, confirmed the reports of Sunday's clashes as "stone-throwing and fireworks [thrown] towards the police and border police in the Temple Mount by masked youth", the Israeli police said.

    "The force pushed back the rioters using anti-riot means. The situation is under control."


    Related: Who are the Mourabitoun of Al-Aqsa Mosque?


    In recent days, during the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah, there were clashes which damaged parts of the mosque.

    Efforts by Israeli police to allow Jewish activists to tour the courtyards of the mosque have stirred strong reactions from Palestinians, who fear Israel may change the rules for visiting the compound.

    Sunday's violence also occurred just before the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, when many Jews visit Jerusalem.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.