Middle East

Israel police, Palestinians worshippers clash at Jerusalem holy site

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Muslim worshippers and Israeli police have clashed at a major Jerusalem holy site during prayers marking the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers have clashed at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site as overlapping Jewish and Muslim holidays led to tensions there.

Police fired sound grenades as Palestinian protests intensified at the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, according to AFP.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the violence at the site, which Muslims refer to as the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.

However, the Red Crescent has reported injuries without specifying a number.

Police lead the arrested man from the scene.
Police lead the arrested man from the scene.
AP

Thousands of Muslims had flocked to the site early on Sunday for holiday prayers. It coincides with the Jewish Tisha B'av holiday, which typically sees an increase in Jewish visits to the holy site.

The area is the holiest site for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims and has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

Israeli police barred entry to the compound to Jewish visitors on Sunday before clashes erupted. Sunday is also the Ninth of Av, the Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of the two Biblical temples built on the site in antiquity.

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