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Palestinian Protesters Clash with Israeli Police in East Jerusalem


A clash erupted between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators Monday near an East Jerusalem compound holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Several hundred Palestinians gathered near the compound after hearing that Jewish extremists would try to enter the site to spark violence in an attempt to derail Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip later this year.

Jews revere the site as Temple Mount and Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).

Disturbances broke out when about 200 Palestinians tried to enter the compound and were barred by Israeli police.

Several people, including seven policemen, were injured when protesters hurled stones at Israeli police, who used stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

The skirmishes broke out one day after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he is ruling out the release of more Palestinian prisoners until the Palestinian Authority takes action against militants.

Israel released 500 prisoners shortly after the two sides declared a cease-fire in February. Negotiators from both sides had planned to discuss criteria for releasing 400 more prisoners as part of the truce.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.

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