Dozens injured in clashes at al-Aqsa

April 30, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 02:12 am IST - Jerusalem

Israeli police said they prevented ‘rioters’ from hurling stones at the Western Wall

Protesters wave Palestinian and Islamic flags at the al-Aqsa mosque site.AFPAHMAD GHARABLI

Protesters wave Palestinian and Islamic flags at the al-Aqsa mosque site.AFPAHMAD GHARABLI

Fresh clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound wounded dozens of people on Friday, following weeks of violence at the flashpoint religious site.

The Palestinian Red Crescent, which keeps track of toll, said no one was seriously injured, but 22 people were taken to hospital.

Israeli police released footage that showed young men on the compound hurling stones and fireworks in Friday’s early hours. Officers entered the site at dawn.

A police statement said they went in to contain “rioters and lawbreakers” some of whom were trying to throw stones down towards the Western Wall, the sacred Jewish site below al-Aqsa.

Police said officers used “riot dispersal means” to contain the unrest and that two people had been arrested, one for throwing stones and the other one for “inciting the mob”.

An AFP journalist said Israeli police fired rubber bullets while a witness said they also used tear gas.

A uneasy calm had been restored at the compound following the unrest that surrounded morning prayers, but tensions remained high.

In the early afternoon, a crowd of Muslim worshippers gathered at al-Aqsa. Some people waved Palestinian flags and the colours of the Gaza Strip-based Hamas militant group.

Over the past two weeks, nearly 300 Palestinians have been hurt in clashes at al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site which is also the most holy site for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.

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