Israel Police, Muslim Worshippers Clash Near Jerusalem's Temple Mount; 3 Wounded

Dozens of Palestinians gather near holy site for evening prayers, throw stones at police, which dispersed them by force. Injured said to include Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, hit on the head by a rubber bullet

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Israeli security forces scuffle with Palestinian protesters outside Lions Gate, at the entrance to Al-Aqsa the Temple Mount, Jerusalem's Old City, on July 17, 2017.
Israeli security forces scuffle with Palestinian protesters outside Lions Gate, at the entrance to Al-Aqsa the Temple Mount, Jerusalem's Old City, on July 17, 2017.Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP

Clashes broke out Monday between police and Muslim worshippers near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. Palestinian reports said three were lightly wounded.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported a number of injuries resulting from clashes at Lions Gate. The report said the chairman of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, was hit in the head by a rubber-tipped bullet and taken to Al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem.

A few dozen Palestinian worshippers gathered before the start of the evening prayers near Lions Gate, at the entrance to the Temple Mount, when clashes erupted. The worshippers were throwing stones and other objects at the police force posted at the site.

Muslim worshipers praying near Lion's Gate at Jerusalem's Old City, July 17, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Border Police officers posted at the entrance to the Temple Mount, July 17, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Police responded by dispersing the worshippers by force.

In a notice sent to district centers throughout the West Bank, the Fatah movement has called for a "day of rage" and processions throughout the West Bank, including demonstrations at checkpoints.

The Temple Mount was reopened to Jewish visitors on Monday morning after being shut for three days in the wake of a deadly shooting attack on Friday, in which to Israeli officers were killed.

Police ordered the shuttering of the Temple Mount compound, which was cleared of people. Police also ordered the cancellation of Friday prayers at the site for the first time in years.

Israeli police had planned to reopen the Mount on Sunday, but the Waqf, the Muslim authority that administers the holy site, refused to unlock the gates in protest of metal detectors Israeli forces installed there on Sunday morning after the attack.

While the Mount was open Monday to both Jewish and Muslim visitors, many of the latter are still boycotting the site in protest of the metal detectors. Jewish visitors on the Mount told Haaretz that there are no Waqf guards present at the site.

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