Jerusalem: Clashes at holy site leave several injured

Cheryl Sanders
August 11, 2019

Israeli police stepped in to disperse Palestinians gathered at Jerusalem's Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary site at the start of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha on Sunday, with several people injured in the confrontations.

Clouds of tear gas swirled and stun grenades thundered across the stone-paved esplanade as masses of worshippers skirmished with police in the worst bout of fighting at the contested holy site in months.

"The district commander ordered the dispersal of the rioters. and restored the public order", the statement said.

Jewish hardline religious groups have called on their followers to force their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday, the day Muslims mark Eid al-Adha holiday, one of the most important holidays in Islam that coincides with the annual pilgrimage to Makkah.

In an effort to avoid friction at the site, police barred the entry of non-Muslim visitors, including Jews, before the clashes erupted.

Palestinians heroically confronted on Sunday brutal Israeli attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque, with dozens hurt, including Grand Al-Quds Mufti.

Under a long-held status quo, Israeli Jews are allowed to visit the site but not to pray there.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, accused Israel of provoking religious and political tension.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, while Israel wants all Jerusalem to be its eternal capital.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and declared the entire city as its eternal indivisible capital in 1980, a move that has never been recognized by most of the global community.

In a separate incident on Sunday, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian gunman after he opened fire on them from across the perimeter fence around the Gaza Strip.

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