Israel Police leave Temple Mount as calm returns to Jerusalem
At least 10 Israelis wounded in riots near Temple Mount, Western Wall following shooting death of Palestinian by Israeli security guard in East Jerusalem; Israeli man stabbed, in moderate condition.
Calm appeared to be prevailing on the streets of Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, after hours of bloody clashes apparently sparked by the shooting of a Palestinian by an Israeli security guard in the early hours of the morning. Police also redeployed from the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, situated on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israeli riot police had entered the mosque compound on Wednesday afternoon, to push back Palestinians who had thrown rocks at the Western Wall below, a police spokesman said.
The Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, had been filled with worshipers praying ahead of the Sukkot festival which began at sundown.
The police forces left soon after, saying that calm appeared to have returned to the area . The Palestinian protesters had withdrawn into the mosque, Islam's third-holiest shrine, when the police officers arrived, the spokesman said.
The action came after more than 10 Israelis were wounded when hundreds of Palestinian protesters began hurling stones at security officials, following the funeral for Sami Sirhan, a Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem area of Silwan - an area that sees frequent tensions over its settler enclave - who was shot dead by an Israeli security guard protescting settlers' homes earlier in the day.
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An Israeli man, 35, was stabbed by a rioter near Mount Scopus and hospitalized with moderate wounds, while three more Israelis were slightly wounded in the same area as Palestinian rioters overturned their car.
The guard shot the 32-year-old man in a pre-dawn incident, a police spokesman said, saying that the guard told police investigators he had opened fire after his car was blocked and stoned by dozens of Palestinians.
The security guard told police that he was driving through the town alone and stopped at a gas station, despite the guidelines which forbade him from stopping in the local stations. The guard added that he feared that he would be abducted after several Palestinians blocked his car.
Silwan, located immediately below the southern section of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, is a focus of tension between around 300 Israeli settlers, who moved into the neighborhood, and approximately 55,000 Palestinian residents.
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