Dozens of Muslim worshippers have been confirmed injured when fresh clashes erupted between Israelis and Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning, the Israeli police said in a report.
The renewed clashes which came after a 10-day cooling of tensions at the holy site, was on the anniversary of Israel’s 1948 independence, followed by a tense period in which the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the Jewish festival of Passover and the Christian holiday of Easter overlapped each other.
Israeli police said in their report that they had successfully repelled “dozens of rioters” who had been “throwing stones and other objects” at security forces.
Since mid-April, clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians have wounded nearly 300 at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound though there have been no death recorded so far.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque site is reputed to be Islam’s third-holiest site in the world and is also Judaism’s holiest place, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Palestinians have been angered by an uptick in Jewish visits to the compound, where by long-standing convention Jews may visit but are not allowed to pray.
Last week, the Gaza Strip’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, threatened Israel with rockets and synagogue attacks if Israeli forces carried out further raids on the site.
“You should be ready for a great battle if the Israeli occupation does not stop attacking Al-Aqsa mosque,” said Yahya Sinwar, Hamas chief in the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave.
Jordan, which manages Jerusalem’s holy sites, has also accused Israel of upsetting the long-standing status quo which allows all faiths to worship at their sacred sites in the city.
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