Israeli forces clash with Palestinians at Al-Aqsa

Maan News Agency – February 19, 2012

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning, leaving several Palestinians and one police officer injured.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said forces entered the site after stones were thrown at a group of Christian tourists. Police detained three Palestinians inside the compound, he said.

Official PA news agency Wafa said police sealed the entrances to the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and dozens of worshipers remained inside the mosque to defend it against feared attack.

Rosenfeld said the site was not closed to worshipers, adding that forces had “prevented disturbances” and now left the compound.

Tensions at the sacred complex have been heightened after far-right Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin tried to make a publicized visit to the site a week ago, and leaflets were distributed around the city calling to remove “Israel’s enemies” from the site.

Police also blocked Feiglin from entering and briefly closed the holy compound last Sunday, saying they feared unrest after the extremist literature circulated the city.

The compound, containing the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and abuts the site where Jews believe the ancient Second Temple stood, attracting the far-right to pose the rebuilding of the Jewish site on the sanctuary.

Footage: Al-Aqsa Assault – February 19, 2012 – Photography

Related: Israel’s Likud threatens to invade Al-Aqsa Mosque – Overview

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