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Israeli Police Clash With Palestinians at Jerusalem Holy Place


Violence has erupted at a Jerusalem holy place that is sacred to Muslims and Jews. At least 15 people were injured in the incident.

Israeli police stormed into a disputed holy place in Jerusalem's Old City and clashed with Palestinians, who threw stones at the nearby Western Wall. Riot police carrying shields and batons dispersed the crowd using tear gas and stun grenades.

The clash occurred at the al-Aksa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam. For Jews it is the Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism and site of the biblical Temples. The compound is a flashpoint of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There has been sporadic violence since Israel declared two West Bank holy places national heritage sites: the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. The Palestinians claim both cities as part of a future state.

Palestinian analyst Wadia Abu Nasser says the Israeli decision was a provocation. "This decision contributed significantly to the increase of tension. Tension and mutual hatred is increasing steadily," he said.

The violence at the al-Aqsa mosque erupted after Friday prayers, where a preacher had called on Muslims to protect the Islamic holy places from the Jews.

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