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Israeli Police Clash with Palestinians near Jerusalem Holy Place


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Violence erupted Sunday near a disputed site that is sacred to Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem. Nine people suffered minor injuries.

Israeli police, including paramilitary and mounted units, stormed into a crowd to disperse about 150 Palestinians who threw stones and bottles in Jerusalem's Old City. The clash took place near the Mosque of Al Aksa, the site Jews call the Temple Mount. It is the holiest place in Judaism and third holiest in Islam.

The violence erupted after police shut down the mosque compound in an attempt to avoid a repeat of a similar riot a week ago. But Palestinians angry over the closure clashed with police.

Adding to the tension were rumors that Jewish militants would try to pray on the Temple Mount to mark the week-long holiday of Sukkot-the Feast of Tabernacles.

Israeli police said they would not tolerate any unrest in Jerusalem, especially when the city is packed with Jewish and Christian pilgrims observing the biblical feast.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank reacted angrily.

Palestinian official Imir Hamad said these events are extremely dangerous and prove the "extremist Israeli government," as he put it, is trying to provoke the Palestinian people. His remarks were broadcast on Israel Radio.

The Mosque of Al Aksa is a focal point of the Middle East conflict. The Second Palestinian Uprising broke out there in the year 2000. And with peace talks at an impasse, some Palestinian officials are warning of a third uprising against Israel.


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