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Clashes between Israeli police & Palestinian protesters as Jews allowed entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque

Clashes between Israeli police & Palestinian protesters as Jews allowed entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque
Violence erupted at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem as Israeli forces allowed Jewish settlers to enter the compound for Jerusalem Day, sparking protests, arrests and injuries.

Israelis are usually prevented from entering the holy site during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when worshippers stay inside the site. This is the first time in around 30 years that Israelis have been allowed inside the site they call Temple Mount during this period.

Al Jazeera reports that settlers gathered outside the compound and police decided to let them in.

Palestinians inside the mosque protested against the admittance of the Israelis, with some throwing chairs and other items, prompting Israeli forces to enter the mosque and fire tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets, and arrest a number of Palestinians.

Police then locked the mosque to prevent Palestinians from protesting inside, and more violence continued as a number of youths tried to gain entry, Haaretz reports.  

Jerusalem Day takes place today and celebrates the occupation of East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 Six-Day War. In recent years, the event has seen an increase in Jews visiting the area.

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The Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by Temple Mount activists in May requesting they be allowed access on Jerusalem Day, saying it was up to the police to decide. Meanwhile, the police said the custom was to refuse Jewish access, but that a final decision had not been made.

The last time Jerusalem Day fell during the last days of Ramadan, Israelis were not allowed access to Al-Aqsa.

More violence could occur in Jerusalem as marches are planned in the city to mark the day. Palestinians usually close their businesses, expecting clashes, and their movements are usually restricted by Israeli authorities.

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