Israeli police, Palestinians clash again at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem amid heightened tensions

Israeli police, Palestinians clash again at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem amid heightened tensions

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Israeli police and Palestinians clashed again Friday morning at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a holy site important to both Jews and Muslims.

The skirmish left more than two dozen Palestinians injured, two seriously, after some Palestinian youths at the site started throwing rocks at police and setting off fireworks around 4 a.m., according to Israel’s Haaretz. The police responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades. 

At least 27 were hurt, Haaretz reported, citing the Palestinian Red Crescent medical service. 

Israeli police and Palestinians have frequently clashed at the site in the last week despite temporarily keeping Jews away for the last 10 days of Ramadan to avoid any provocation, which is a normal practice. 

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Israeli police deploy in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The incident came just hours after Israel targeted several Hamas sites Thursday morning following a rocket attack intercepted by Israel’s air defenses. Another rocket strike was launched toward Israel on Monday. 

Nearly a year after the Israel-Palestinian 11-day war, tensions have heightened following a series of deadly attacks in Israel – including a shooting in Tel Aviv earlier this month in which a Palestinian opened fire at a bar, leaving three Israelis dead – and military operations in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli police enter the Al Aqsa Mosque compound where they clashed with Palestinian protesters following early morning prayers in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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Al-Aqsa, known as the Temple Mount to Jews, has been connected to previous violent conflicts.

A Palestinian protester takes cover behind a makeshift shield during clashes with Israeli police at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022. 
((AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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A longstanding prohibition on Jews praying at the site has eroded in recent years, fueling fears among Palestinians that Israel plans to take over the site or partition it. However, Israel says it’s committed to the status quo and has blamed Hamas for inciting violence. 

Tens of thousands of Muslims are expected to pray at the site later Friday for weekly prayers. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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