#AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – November 05 – Israeli police shut access to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem to Muslim worshippers for several hours due to continued clashes in the city.
The holy site has been a focus of tension since last week, when Israel closed it to Muslim worshippers.
The Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound behind the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a densely-populated Palestinian neighbourhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (AFP Photo)
Al-Aqsa, also known as the Temple Mount, is Islam’s third most-venerated site.
Israeli police closed it for the first time since 1963 in retaliation for the killing of a prominent right-wing Jewish activist, provoking outcry from the Arab population.
Access was renewed a day later, but males under 50 were still banned from entry.
The renewed shut-down of Al-Aqsa on Wednesday comes after daily clashes in the streets of East Jerusalem and the Old City. Palestinian youths attack Israeli police with stones and fire crackers.
Police said they sent forces to the holy compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, as clashes erupted near it minutes before it was due to be opened to the public.
“Police entered the area, pushed the masked rioters back, and they fled back into Al-Aqsa. Police closed the front gate of the mosque but did not enter,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld as cited by Reuters.
Israeli security forces used stun grenades to disperse the protesting crowd.
Some 20 people were reportedly injured in the fresh clash.
Sources: RT – AFP – AP – Reuters