Palestinians, Israeli police clash in Jerusalem

Palestinians, Israeli police clash in Jerusalem
# 23 February 2012 23:15 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Palestinian and Muslim prayers on Friday clashed with Israeli police around the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, witnesses and officials said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"The Israeli police attacked worshippers who gathered around the mosque," said Hatem Abdel Kader, an official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

The police chased down the protesters with batons and tear gas, he added.

The Muslims gathered there to protest repeated visits by Israeli right-wing radicals to the compound in the walled city.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the Israeli police installed checkpoints and increased restrictions to limit the flow of Muslims to the Old City.

On Thursday, the Palestinian presidency condemned the repeated visits by Jewish groups to the al-Aqsa Mosque, which usually triggered clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police that escort those groups.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest shrine in Islam. Inside the compound is also the Western Wall plaza, which Israel calls Temple Mount and is considered the holiest place in Judaism.

Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinians want its eastern part, which includes the Old City, as a future capital.