Israeli police raid Jerusalem holy site

Violence erupts after Israeli police open al-Aqsa mosque compound's gates to non-Muslim visitors after dawn prayers.

    Israeli police raid Jerusalem holy site
    Palestinians have protested around the holy site since calls by an Israeli politician to usurp sovereignty [AFP]

    Israeli soldiers and police have hurled stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers after entering the holy Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem.

    Violence erupted on Sunday morning after Israeli police opened one of the walled compound's gates to non-Muslim visitors after dawn prayers.

    The Palestinians had remained in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa mosque in anticipation of an incursion by groups of Jewish extremists.

    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. Although non-Muslim visitors are permitted, Jews are not allowed to pray at the site, even under Israeli law.

    Sovereignty push

    Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the Palestinians threw stones and a number of Molotov cocktails at police who had entered the site.

    "Police responded by using stun grenades and entered the Temple Mount area," he said.

    There were no reports of injuries or arrests.

    Protests erupted at the site last month after a right-wing Israeli politician, Moshe Feiglin, called on the Israeli Knesset to strengthen Israel's control over the site and usurp sovereignty.

    Rosenfeld could not say if Jews were among those seeking to visit the site.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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