Muslims clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem holy site

Erika Holt
August 12, 2019

He said that Israel has no sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa mosque and that Israel is occupying the mosque.

Thousands of Muslims had flocked to the site early on Sunday for holiday prayers.

"I deplore the continued Arab and global silence over Israel's crimes at the al-Aqsa mosque, specifically in Eid al-Adha", the foreign minister added.

Witnesses said at least two people were arrested.

Israeli media also reported the clashes, saying Palestinian worshippers were marking Eid Al-Adha "which coincides with" the so-called Jewish holiday of Tisha B'Av.

Large numbers of Palestinians had gathered at the gates of the compound early Sunday after rumors circulated that police would allow Jewish visitors to enter the site.

However, Israeli settlers who regularly enter the compound often perform Jewish prayers on the site. Jewish extremists have called for destroying the mosque and rebuilding the Biblical temple. The Israeli government has repeatedly said it has no intention of changing the status quo. Sheikh Yusuf Elbaz, a Muslim religious leader, said Israel had acted improperly.

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Palestinians said 40 Muslim worshipers were injured, including PLO Executive Committee member Adnan Husseini, who previously served as Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, and Abdel Azim Salhab, Chairman of the Wakf Council in east Jerusalem.

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 worldwide community. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been moribund for at least a decade, and the Palestinians have cut ties with the Trump administration over what they see as its bias toward Israel.

Gaza's Health Ministry says a 26-year-old Palestinian was killed after exchanging fire with Israeli troops along the perimeter fence surrounding the coastal territory.

This was the highest number of Palestinians killed in a single day since May, when an unofficial ceasefire ended the worst bout of violence in years between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules Gaza. The army said a tank also targeted a nearby military post operated by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility.

Palestinian Red Crescent, meanwhile, said that 37 Palestinian were injured after Israeli forces attacked the worshippers with rubber bullets, teargas and truncheons.

Associated Press writer Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip contributed.

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