Israeli forces enter Jerusalem’s mosque

Jerusalem, July 26 (IANS) Israeli forces stormed into Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa compound on Sunday after dozens of Palestinians hurled stones and firecrackers at police officers, officials said.

The clashes took place shortly after the site, holy to both Muslims and Jews, was opened to Jewish visitors earlier in the day on the occasion of the Ninth of Av, a fast day, in which Jews commemorate the destruction of their first and second Jewish Temples, Xinhua reported.

Masked Palestinian youths barricaded themselves in the Temple Mount, throwing stones and firecrackers at the police.

In order to prevent further escalation, “a police force entered a number of metres inside the compound and closed the doors to the mosque with the rioters inside, restoring order”, a police spokesperson said, adding that several officers were injured.

The police increased their presence at the compound after a video showing a Jewish woman insulting the Prophet Muhammad went viral, enraging Muslims in the city.

The al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and the most holy site for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount and revere it as the site of their second temple, which was destroyed in 70 A.D.

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