Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa Mosque hours after Gaza truce
Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following Friday prayers, just hours after a truce came into force between the Jewish state and Hamas.
Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at hundreds of Palestinians who had gathered at the mosque for prayers and a celebratory demonstration.
Palestinian outlet AlQastal also said Israeli police used rubber bullets to disperse the worshippers.
This comes two weeks after Israeli raids during the holy month of Ramadan on Al-Aqsa - considered the third holiest site in Islam - were the trigger for a deadly Israeli bombing campaign and militant rocket fire in Gaza.
اللحظات الأولى لاستهداف قوات الاحتلال للمصلين في المسجد الأقصى بالرصـ.ـاص المطاطي وقنـ.ـابل الصوت pic.twitter.com/564C318Rkc— AlQastal القسطل (@AlQastalps) May 21, 2021
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld on Friday claimed "riots broke out" at the Al-Aqsa esplanade.
"Hundreds of people threw rocks and petrol bombs at police officers who responded at the scene and began dispersing the rioters," Rosenfeld alleged in a statement.
AFP reporters at the compound in Jerusalem's Old City said violence was ongoing.
A ceasefire to end the Gaza hostilities appeared to be holding on Friday, though it is not yet clear what impact Israel's actions at Al-Aqsa will have on this.
The Egyptian-brokered truce came into force at 2am on Friday (2300 GMT), after an 11-day Israeli bombing campaign killed at least 243 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children. Twelve Israelis were killed by rocket fire into Israel.