Israel reopened a contested Jerusalem holy site today and deployed more than 1,000 security personnel following clashes on Thursday between Palestinians and Israeli riot police. The clashes had ratcheted up already high tensions in the city.
Small groups of Palestinian worshippers made their way through checkpoints to the site – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
More than 4,000 people attended midday prayers, police said. There were a few disturbances, including an attempt by a group of young Palestinian men to break through the police cordon. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces erupted at several locations across the West Bank in the afternoon and there were reports that a number of protesters were injured.
Israeli authorities had said they were limiting access to the site to Muslim men aged over 50 in an attempt to dampen the prospects for violence triggered by Thursday’s killing of a Palestinian man suspected of attempting to assassinate a hard-line Jewish activist. A rabbi, Yehuda Glick, was shot three times on Wednesday, but his condition is said to be improving. Rabbi Glick has campaigned for more Jewish access to the site.
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