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Cops enter Temple Mount to clear obstacles as Palestinians throw stones at buses

Israeli police entered the Temple Mount complex on Sunday morning as hundreds of Palestinians allegedly tried to block Jewish visitors from visiting the holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City, just two days after significant clashes there.

Police said hundreds of young people – many of them in disguise – were piling up stones they planned to use along with iron bars and makeshift barricades to revolt and try to prevent non-Muslims from touring the complex.

According to the Red Crescent, 17 Palestinians were treated for injuries amid clashes with police at the site on Sunday morning, five of whom were taken to hospital. Police said nine Palestinians were arrested during Sunday’s riots.

Police said officers are working to distance the Palestinians to allow the visits to continue.

“Along with the visits, the freedom of worship will continue to be fully preserved for the worshipers of the Temple Mount,” a police statement said. “Israeli police will continue to act against lawbreakers and insurgents.

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Later, Jewish visitors were spotted touring the site.

After Muslim attempts to block the complex: Temple Mount opens for Jews @ VeredPelman (Photo: Or Nehemiah) pic.twitter.com/2EkOKYYG22

– Here is the news (@kann_news) on April 17, 2022

The visits come just after the beginning of the weekly Passover, when many Jews make the traditional pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Non-Muslims can visit the Temple Mount only during certain hours and are forbidden to pray in the place that is the holiest in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.

Easter this year intersects with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which usually leads to heightened tensions around the Old City, where the temple hill is located. Easter is also Sunday, and Christian pilgrims are expected in the Old Town.

This year’s merger of holidays has been seen for months as a potential arson for an outbreak of violence.

Also Sunday, police said stones were thrown at buses right in front of the Old Town, shattering windows and leaving several passengers slightly injured.

Ambulance Service Magen David Adom said seven people were injured in the accident and taken to the city’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center with minor injuries. Police said two suspects had been arrested and officers were searching the area for others.

Five people were slightly injured after Palestinians threw stones at a bus near the Old City of Jerusalem, according to the MDA. Police say two suspects have been arrested. pic.twitter.com/M7N6EZIGvH

– Emanuel Fabian (@manniefabian) April 17, 2022

During the night, a group of Palestinians hoisted a flag on the Temple Mount to the ruling Hamas terrorist group in Gaza.

“Hamas is calling for a general mobilization and repulsion of the herd of settlers who are threatening to invade Al Aqsa,” the banner said, referring to the Temple Mount Mosque.

Palestinians confront Israeli border police as they patrol the area in front of the Lion Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, April 17, 2022 (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Hundreds of Palestinians were detained on Friday in clashes with Temple Mount police. The Palestinian Red Crescent said 158 were injured – most of them probably from inhaling tear gas. The footage shows the chaos at the site, with rains of stones and fireworks fired at heavily armed police.

Determined to clear the mosque of accumulated stones, police decided to break into the building, leading to dozens of arrests and scenes identical to those that took place nearly a year ago. Six hours later, police said they had cleared the rebel complex. Calm was restored and the afternoon prayers continued without incident, with about 50,000 Muslim worshipers taking part.

The site is the emotional epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and tensions there could easily lead to wider fires. Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups have repeatedly referred to the holy site of ignition as a red line. The actions of the police for suppressing the riots there last year helped challenge the 11-day War in Gaza in May.

In addition to the holiday frictions, Israeli troops are carrying out large-scale attacks in the West Bank after the deadliest outbreak of terror in Israel in years.

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