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Home / WORLD / Palestinians clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque (VIDEO)

Palestinians clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque (VIDEO)

A group of Palestinians threw stones and clashed with Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday. Police said they entered the mosque to disperse rioters who were preventing worshippers from praying.

In the early morning, worshippers gathered at the Temple Mount, home to major holy sites of both Muslims and Jews.

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According to Israeli police, some Palestinians brought flags of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and militant group Hamas, and began throwing stones and firecrackers at the officers.

Some hurled stones at Jews praying at the Western Wall, while others barricaded themselves inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, where they continued to throw objects at the officers and prevented other Muslims from praying, police said.

Officer Eliyahu Levy told Army Radio that police waited until the morning prayers ended before entering the mosque and dispersing the rioters. The mosque told Israeli media that around 400 people were detained.

Police said that three officers were injured while being pelted with stones. The Palestinian Red Crescent humanitarian group, meanwhile, reported that 152 Palestinians were injured, some with “rubber bullets” and stun grenades.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry later said the mosque had been reopened for prayers after the rioters were removed, and that thousands of worshippers continued to arrive during the day, while urging everyone to remain peaceful.  

Hamas, which rules over Gaza, however, was quoted by Bloomberg as condemning the “brutal attacks” by Israeli police and warning that Israel will bear “all the consequences.”

The clashes took place days after Israel deployed troops to the city of Jenin in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Health Ministry said six locals were killed. Tel Aviv said the raids were meant to weed out extremists after a wave of terrorist attacks between late March and early April that left 14 Israelis dead.

 “We will reach anywhere necessary, at any time, in order to root out these terrorist operations,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said over the weekend.

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