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Israeli Police Storm Muslim Holy Site in Jerusalem - 2004-04-02


Israeli police stormed a Muslim holy site in Jerusalem's walled Old City Friday after Palestinian youths and worshippers threw stones at police. At least 15 people are reported injured and more than a dozen others arrested.

Police in riot gear stormed the al-Aqsa mosque compound firing tear gas, stun grenades and plastic bullets to disperse a crowd of hundreds of stone throwers.

A tense standoff followed as worshippers and some of the stone-throwers barricaded themselves inside the mosques as police surrounded the area and closed off access.

After a few hours, police and the Muslim authorities responsible for the mosque compound negotiated a peaceful outcome. Police stood back and worshippers were allowed to go home.

The compound is home to the al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and is one of Islam's holiest sites. The same site is sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The area has been the scene of frequent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the past two-and-a-half years of violence.

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