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152 people injured as Palestinians clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem Mosque



A clash on Friday between Palestinians and Israeli riot police officers inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, left 152 people seriously injured in the latest outbreak in a recent upsurge of violence that has raised fears of a slide back to wider conflict.

In a statement late on Friday, the Israeli police said hundreds of Palestinians hurled firecrackers and stones at their forces and toward the nearby Jewish prayer area of the Western Wall in the Old City after Ramadan morning prayers.

Three officers were also injured in the clashes, the police statement said.

The Palestine Red Crescent, in its own report, said most of the Palestinian injuries were “incurred from rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings with police batons, at the most sensitive site in the generations-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

It added that the police entered the Al-Aqsa compound to “disperse and push back the crowd and enable the rest of the worshippers to leave the place safely.”

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a tweet that the police detained hundreds of Palestinians arrested during the clashes.

“We are working to restore calm, on the Temple Mount and across Israel. Alongside that, we are preparing for any scenario and the security forces are ready for any task,” Bennett said.

Read also: Palestinians hold ‘Day of Rage’ solidarity protests for prison escapees

Israeli security forces have been on high alert after a series of deadly Arab street attacks throughout the country over the past two weeks while confrontations at the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem’s walled Old City pose the risk of a relapse into a broader conflagration like last year’s Gaza war.

The Al-Aqsa compound sits atop the Old City plateau of East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, and is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount.

Tensions this year have been heightened in part by Ramadan coinciding with the Jewish celebration of Passover.

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