Israeli police stormed a sensitive Jerusalem holy site on Tuesday to disperse a violent riot there mere hours before the Israeli Parliament was to hold a charged debate over the status of sovereignty over the same site.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said about 20 masked Palestinian youths hurled stones and firecrackers at troops from atop the Temple Mount. Police then entered the compound and arrested three people. He said two police officers were lightly wounded.
The site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is ground zero in the territorial and religious conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Clashes often erupt after Muslims conclude their prayers. Jews typically pray below at the Western Wall but tensions have grown lately with an increased number of Jews arriving to pray at the Temple Mount as well.
Nationalist lawmaker Moshe Feiglin of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has been leading the charge. Mr. Feiglin initiated on Tuesday’s parliamentary discussion in which he is to suggest extending Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Jordan currently administers Muslim religious affairs at the site.