Over 330 Palestinians Wounded in Clashes With Israeli Police at Al-Aqsa Mosque

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Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City  earlier today
Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City earlier todayCredit: Mahmoud Ilean / AP

The Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 331 Palestinians were injured in clashes that have rocked Islam's third-holiest site, Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and 250 of them were taken to hospital. Several of the Palestinians were in critical condition, and Israel Police said 21 officers were injured.

Palestinian protesters threw rocks and Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in clashes outside Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Monday, as Israel marked the anniversary of its capture of parts of the city in the 1967 Six Day war.

The Temple Mount compound has been a focal point of violence in Jerusalem throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the clashes have raised international concern about wider conflict.

In an effort to ease the situation, Israeli police banned Jewish groups from paying Jerusalem Day visits to the Temple Mount compound, which Jews revere as the site of the biblical Jewish temples.

But despite the violence and warnings from top security officials, a traditional Jerusalem Day flag march in which thousands of Zionist Jewish youth walk through the Old City's Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter is set to go ahead.

At Al-Aqsa, police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at hundreds of Palestinians who hurled rocks at them in the morning, witnesses said.

The violence at the holy compound abated several hours later and witnesses said Israeli police pulled back and began allowing Palestinians over the age of 40, deemed less likely to take part in confrontations, to enter.

Law and order 

In public remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was determined to uphold law and order in Jerusalem while preserving "freedom of worship and tolerance for all".

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accused "Israeli occupation forces" of conducting a "brutal raid" at al-Aqsa.

Israel views all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern part that it annexed in a move that has not won international recognition. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a state they seek in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Tensions have also been fuelled by the planned evictions of several Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Israel's attorney-general secured a deferment on Sunday of a Supreme Court hearing on Monday in the long-running evictions case that had threatened to stoke more violence.

A lower court had found in favor of Jewish settlers' claim to the land on which the Palestinians' homes are located, a decision seen by Palestinians as an attempt by Israel to drive them out of contested Jerusalem.

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