At least 100 people were injured in riots after thousands of Muslims entered the Temple Mount area and began throwing stones at police. Several were reportedly hospitalized.
Arabs attacked Israeli police on the Temple Mount Thursday as Muslims returned to the holy site after a 12-day boycott in protest of new Israeli security measures.
The clashes began hours after Islamic authorities, who are responsible for maintenance at the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, had agreed to call off the boycott due to Israel’s compliance with their demands to remove security cameras and metal detectors at entrances to the Mount. The security measures were introduced following the murder of two policemen at Lion’s Gate by three Israeli-Arabs who emerged from the site on July 14.
PLO executive committee member Wasel Abu Yusuf told The Jerusalem Post that the lifting of the Israeli measures was “a great achievement for the defenders of al-Aqsa and for the Palestinian people against all the efforts to solidify the occupation against blessed al-Aqsa mosque.”
Livestreamed footage taken from the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple mount, showed thousands of people milling around the site, with the sounds of gunshots and ambulance sirens clearly heard.
The protesters threw stones over the wall of the compound at the Western Wall; dozens of Palestinians were injured on the Mount itself, mostly by rubber bullets.
Later in the afternoon, new protests began in the Bab Hutta neighborhood, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, when police refused to open a gate leading from the neighborhood to the Mount.
Israeli security forces are on high alert ahead of Friday prayers at the Mount in anticipation of further riots and violence.
By: TPS and World Israel News Staff