Israeli police and Palestinian protesters clash at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque on Jewish holiday

Reports suggest police moved into Al-Asqa mosque in the Old City to stop Palestinians throwing stones

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The Independent Online

Israeli police have clashed with Palestinians at the al-Asqa mosque in the Israeli occupied Old City.

Several police were wounded in the incident but police were reported to have used stun grenades and tear gas against Palestinians.

Police entered the mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam, on Sunday after receiving reports that Palestinians had barricaded themselves inside armed with rocks and firebombs, the Associated Press reported.

There have been no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties.

The site of the mosque, known as the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims and the Temple Mount by Jews, is a holy site for both religions.

26th July marks, Tisha B’Av, the annual day of mourning in Judaism marking the destruction of an ancient Holy Temple by the Romans in 70CE.

 

It comes amid growing tensions over Jewish ultra nationalists calls for Jewish prayer to be allowed on the compound outside al-Asqa which stands above the Wailing Wall- believed to the last remnant of the old temple.

Such worship has been banned on the plaza since Israel took control of the Old City after the Six Days War in 1967.

After the incident, a right-wing Israeli politician visited the site to mark the holiday.

In 2000, a visit by then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in the midst of collapsing peace talks caused what became known as the “Second Intifada” where thousands of Palestinians died in an uprising.

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters