Israeli police storm Jerusalem holy site after rock-throwing

22 April, 2022
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Israeli police storm Jerusalem holy site after rock-throwing

Israeli police in full riot gear stormed a sensitive Jerusalem holy site sacred to Jews and Muslims on Friday after Palestinian youths hurled stones at a gate where they were stationed.

The renewed violence at the site, which is sacred to Jews and Muslims, came despite Israel temporarily halting Jewish visits, which are seen by the Palestinians as a provocation. Medics said more than two dozen Palestinians were wounded before the clashes subsided hours later.

Palestinians and Israeli police have regularly clashed at the site over the last week at a time of heightened tensions following a string of deadly attacks inside Israel and arrest raids in the occupied West Bank. Three rockets have been fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

The string of events has raised fears of a repeat of last year, when protests and violence in Jerusalem eventually boiled over, helping to ignite an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, and communal violence in Israel's mixed cities.

Palestinian youths hurled stones toward police at a gate leading into the compound, according to two Palestinian witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns. The police, in full riot gear, then entered the compound, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades.

Israeli police said the Palestinians, some carrying Hamas flags, had begun stockpiling stones and erecting crude fortifications before dawn. The police said that after the rock-throwing began, they waited until after early morning prayers had finished before entering the compound.


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