Muslim worshipers started throwing rocks at security forces, Friday afternoon, at the end of Muslim prayers at Temple Mount mosques in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Police stationed at the Mughrabi gate broke in and began to throw stun grenades to disperse the stone throwers.
The rioters responded with firebombs. One policeman was lightly injured and taken to hospital. A number of demonstrators were also injured.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that about 100 protesters, many of them masked, attacked police, who fired stun grenades in response.
“Petrol bombs were thrown at police,” he told AFP. “Several police officers were injured by stones that were thrown and were evacuated to hospital.”
An AFP journalist at the scene said the clash was triggered by Palestinian media allegations that a policeman at the compound, one of Islam’s holiest sites, on Sunday kicked a holy book and trampled on it.
“That’s completely incorrect,” Rosenfeld said, adding that the Koran in question was being held by one of a group of women seeking to block a visit to the compound by Israelis when the book fell by accident. “They blocked them with a bench and one of the women who was sitting on the
bench was reading a Koran,” he said.
“When the bench was removed from the area the Koran fell on the floor. The Koran was picked up and returned to the lady and there was no misconduct by any of the police.”
Israel liberated the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six Day War, leaving the Waqf in charge of the compound.
The Waqf, in return, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site and has consistently destroyed Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.
Several Israeli police officers and Muslim worshipers were injured during the Temple Mount riots on Friday afternoon.
The riots began when the worshipers started throwing rocks at security forces.
Police stationed at the Mughrabi gate broke in and began to throw stun grenades to disperse the stone throwers. The rioters responded with firebombs.
According to the police, nine officers and five protesters were injured during the incident.
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