Israeli police entered al-Aqsa mosque

2015-07-26 09:53
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Jerusalem - Israeli police entered al-Aqsa mosque, a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site, during clashes with rioting Muslim worshippers on Sunday morning, police said. 

Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said officers entered a few metres into the mosque to close its main doors to prevent dozens of rioters who had barricaded themselves inside from continuing to hurl rocks, concrete blocks, firecrackers and other objects at them.

"It was only to close the doors," he said. "We didn't burst inside. We didn't storm inside."

Four policemen were lightly injured by stones during the riots, Rosenfeld said, adding no arrests were made.

The protesters were objecting to Jewish access to the religious site known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is extremely rare for Israeli police to enter al-Aqsa Mosque.

The area that houses the mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam, but it is also the site of the ruins of the biblical Jewish temple and is the most sacred site in Judaism. 

Sunday is the Jewish holy day of Tisha B'Av when Jews mourn the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD.

Tens of thousands of Jews are expected to visit the Wailing Wall Sunday, just underneath the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary. The ancient wall is a retaining wall that held up the platform that housed the temple, built by the 1st century Jewish Roman king Herod the Great.

Read more on:    israel  |  security  |  religion

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