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Al-Aqsa: Israeli forces clash with Palestinians for third day

Israeli police have used stun grenades against Palestinian demonstrators in and around al-Aqsa compound [AFP]

Date of publication: 15 September, 2015

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Israeli police clashed again with Palestinian youths after entering the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem, firing stun grenades and renewing attempts to detain activists defending the mosque.

Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces at Jerusalem's flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound for a third day in a row on Tuesday, al-Araby al-Jadeed’s Arabic service has reported.

Hundreds of Israeli police stormed the mosque and clashed with protesters, who threw stones at police, who then responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

Police have reportedly retreated from the al-Asqsa mosque mount.

“Israeli police surrounded the worshipers in the mosque and tried to arrest them, there are an unknown number of injured” an al-Aqsa guard told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

“The large number of sun grenades and tear gas the police have fired have started a fire at the entrance of the funeral prayer room close to the mosque,” he added.

Eyewitnesses said police have tried to cut through windows of the mosque and break down the doors to arrest the worshipers holding a sit-in inside the mosque.

“The Israeli police have reached the al-Aqsa mosque platform fully equipped. This is extremely dangerous and the second time this has happened since Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967,” said head of the Islamic Waqf, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib.

Israeli police have said police are attempting to disperse the stone-throwers, according to a spokeswoman, who added that there had been no casualties or arrests so far.

A guard at the mosque has been hospitalised after he suffered a stroke during the Israeli incursion, according to reports.

The protesters fear Israel is trying to change rules governing the site, which allow Jews to visit but not pray.

The new flare-up came despite calls for restraint from both the UN and the United States, and a warning from Jordan, which has custodianship rights over Muslim holy places in Jerusalem under its 1994 peace treaty with Israel, that relations were on the line.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an emergency Islamic summit to be held to tackle the Israeli violations against the al-Aqsa mosque.

The Palestinian Authority released a statement that called on the Islamic and Arab worlds to hold a summit to support occupied Jerusalem and preserve its Arab identity and religious heritage.

The statement asked for Islamic world to back all Palestinians on Palestinian territories who are facing the worse attacks from settlers, which it said should be classified as “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”.

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