Mosque rumour sparks clashes

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The Independent Online

Israeli police mobilised reinforcements from across the country to secure the streets of Jerusalem yesterday, deploying thousands of officers amid fears that violence would escalate after two days of clashes with Palestinian protesters.

Rumours that Israeli extremists planned to march on the most sacred Muslim and Jewish shrine in the Holy Land apparently fuelled the unrest. No such march has taken place.

The Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which draws many Jewish visitors to Jerusalem, has been the backdrop for the unrest. On Sunday, rumours circulated among Palestinians that Jewish extremists planned to invade or damage Haram as-Sharif, or the Temple Mount, the home to Islam's third-holiest shrine, the Al-Aqsa mosque, and revered by Jews as the site of their two biblical temples. About 150 demonstrators streamed to the hilltop compound where they hurled rocks at Israeli police.

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