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Israeli police storm Jerusalem site

Sunday, February 28, 2010 03:54:34 PM, Agencies

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Israeli police raid Aqsa compound

Jerusalem: At least six Palestinians have reportedly been injured after Israeli police forces stormed a holy site in Jerusalem to disperse Muslim worshippers.


Palestinian sources said that Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the protesters in the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday.


Israel said the situation was calm and denied that rubber bullets had been fired.


Micky Rosenfeld, the Israeli police spokesman, said that the authorities had dispersed about 20 masked protesters who were inside the compound.


The police said protesters had thrown stones at visitors to the compound.


Sherine Tadross, reporting for Al Jazeera from Jerusalem, said: "This was all sparked early this morning [Sunday], when - according to the Israeli police - there were a group of tourists entering the al-Aqsa compound in the Old City.

"They were then pelted with rocks by Palestinian demonstrators. They then decided to keep on with their resistance to the entrance of these tourists into the Haram compound.


"That then sparked certain clashes outside and near the area, that has resulted in an escalation if you like, outside the walls of the Old City."


The area, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as the Temple Mount, has been a frequent flashpoint for conflicts before with even low-level scuffles spiralling into drawn-out battles.


A visit to the site in 2000 by Ariel Sharon, then an Israeli opposition leader and later prime minister, helped ignite deadly clashes that escalated into the popular Palestinian uprising known as al-Aqsa Intifada.












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