Dozens of masked Palestinian protestors clashed with police Wednesday morning in the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, as the holy site was opened to Jewish visitors ahead of the Jewish New Year, the police said.
Police units stormed the compound after firecrackers were thrown at police officers at the nearby Mugrabim Gate, Xinhua reported citing a police statement. Four policemen were slightly injured, said Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesperson.
He added that the situation was under control, and that visits to the Temple Mount, the Jewish term for the complex, have resumed.
The compound, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, is the most sacred place for Jews who consider it as the site of the historical biblical temples. It is also the home to the Dome of Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.
Clashes at the site are not rare when police open it to Jewish visitors. The last incident occurred in August, when dozens of masked protestors hurled stones and flares at police.
Tensions have soared in Jerusalem since Israel launched a seven-week-long military campaign in the Gaza Strip. Some 758 Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of “rioting”, according to the police.