JERUSALEM: Fresh clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police broke out at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday, two weeks after unrest at the sensitive religious site triggered deadly hostilities in Gaza, reports AFP.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said “riots broke out” at the Al-Aqsa esplanade which is Islam’s third holiest site and also revered by Jews, who call it the Temple Mount. “Hundreds of people threw rocks and petrol bombs at police officers who responded at the scene and began dispersing the rioters,” Rosenfeld said in a statement.“Police units (are) at the scene,” he added. AFP reporters at the compound in Jerusalem’s Old City said clashes were ongoing. Police have fired rubber bullets and used stun grenades at the site, according to an AFP reporter.
Days of unrest at Al-Aqsa during Islam’s holy fasting month of Ramadan led Hamas, the Islamist group that controls, to demand Israeli forces vacate the compound by 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on May 10.
Hamas then fired rockets at Jerusalem when the deadline expired.
Israel then commenced a heavy aerial campaign targeting Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza.
A ceasefire to end the Gaza hostilities appeared to be holding on Friday.