Israeli police enter holy Al-Aqsa Mosque as Jewish visits resume

Israeli police entered a flashpoint holy web site in Jerusalem to clear away Palestinian protesters on Thursday, after Jewish visits that had been paused for the Muslim holidays resumed.

Recent weeks have seen a number of rounds of clashes on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest web site for Muslims, which is constructed on a hilltop that’s the holiest web site for Jews, who confer with it because the Temple Mount. It lies on the emotional coronary heart of the Israeli-Palestinian battle.

As the visits resumed, dozens of Palestinians gathered, chanting “God is greatest.” Scuffles broke out when the police went to arrest considered one of them. Police fired rubber-coated bullets on the sprawling esplanade as some Palestinians sheltered contained in the mosque itself. The police may later be seen simply inside an entrance to the barricaded mosque.

The police mentioned they responded to dozens of people that had been shouting incitement and throwing stones, and that one police officer was evenly injured. The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service mentioned two Palestinians had been taken to a hospital after being struck with batons.

Unlike in earlier confrontations, Palestinian witnesses mentioned there was no signal of rock-throwing initially. Some of those that sheltered contained in the mosque started throwing stones and different objects when police entered the constructing. The witnesses spoke on situation of anonymity due to safety considerations.

The Islamic endowment that administers the positioning mentioned police detained round 50 Palestinians. It mentioned round 600 Jews visited the compound. The scenario was calm once more by mid-morning.

A Palestinian lady gestures as Israeli police accompany a bunch of Jewish guests previous the Dome of the Rock mosque on the al-Aqsa mosque compound within the Old City of Jerusalem.Ahmad Gharabli / AFP – Getty Images

Under casual preparations referred to as the established order, Jews are allowed to go to the positioning however not pray there. In current years, they’ve visited in ever-increasing numbers with police escorts and plenty of have discreetly prayed, angering the Palestinians in addition to neighboring Jordan, which is the custodian of the positioning. The Palestinians have lengthy feared that Israel plans to finally take over the positioning or partition it.

Israel says it’s dedicated to sustaining the established order, and accuses the Islamic militant group Hamas of inciting the current violence.

The visits, by principally nationalist and non secular Jews, resumed Thursday after being paused for the final 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr vacation.

Thursday can also be Israel’s Independence Day, and in current days fringe teams had known as on Jewish worshippers to have a good time by waving Israeli flags on the holy web site. The calls had been extensively circulated by Palestinians on social media, together with calls to confront any such show.

A Jewish group shared a video that appeared to indicate a bunch of holiday makers singing Israel’s nationwide anthem as police escorted away a boy who had an Israeli flag draped over his shoulder. The video appeared genuine.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official who serves as the principle liaison between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, tweeted earlier this week that elevating the flag would present “outrageous disregard” for Palestinian emotions and mark the “continuation of extremist racist campaigns.”

Hamas warned Wednesday that Israel was “playing with fire and dragging the region into an escalation for which the occupation bears full responsibility.”

Clashes in and round Al-Aqsa final 12 months helped ignite an 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The compound is within the Old City, which homes main spiritual websites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Old City is a part of east Jerusalem, which Israel captured within the 1967 conflict together with the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians need all three territories to type their future state.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a transfer not acknowledged by many of the worldwide group, and it considers the whole metropolis its capital. The West Bank has been beneath Israeli navy rule for practically 55 years, and Gaza has been beneath an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized energy from rival Palestinian forces in 2007. The Palestinian Authority administers elements of the West Bank and cooperates with Israel on safety. It is barred from working in east Jerusalem.

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