Clashes in West Bank as mosque re-opens

2014-11-01 12:08
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Jerusalem - Clashes erupted in the West Bank on Friday after weekly Muslim prayers while security forces deployed heavily around Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque which reopened following the killing of a Palestinian by police.

A rocket was also fired from Gaza and hit southern Israel on Friday, the Israeli army said, although there were no reports of casualties or damage. It was the first rocket to hit Israel since 16 September.

Al-Aqsa, in Jerusalem's Old City, and adjacent neighbourhoods have seen months of violence and the mosque compound has been a rallying point for Palestinian resistance to perceived Jewish attempts to take control of it.

Jerusalem was relatively calm on Friday a day after youths clashed with police following the fatal shooting of Muataz Hijazi, a Palestinian suspected of trying to murder hardline Jewish rabbi Yehuda Glick, linked to the tensions at Al-Aqsa.

During Thursday's unrest, Israel ordered a rare closure of the mosque compound, sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Rubber bullets

The area reopened on Friday with hundreds of additional police, who prevented entry for Muslim men under 50.

Prayers were more sparsely attended than usual but held without incident.

In the West Bank about 300 Palestinians threw stones at Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint just north of Jerusalem.

The Israelis responded with live fire and rubber bullets and wounded around a dozen people, Palestinian security sources and medics said.

Meanwhile, the United States announced talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat on Monday in Washington to discuss how to advance the frozen peace process.

Kerry would also discuss "lowering tensions in Jerusalem" with the Palestinian team, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday.

Read more on:    israel  |  religion

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