Clashes at religious site in Jerusalem carry into second day


Clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police at a divisive holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City carried into a second day on Monday, with several stone throwers arrested near the al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel Radio reported.

The clashes at the site, known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews, are taking place as Jews mark the start of the religious new year of Rosh Hashana, which began Sunday night.

Israeli police had stormed the compound on Sunday as clashes broke out apparently amid rising tensions over a ban on two Muslim civilian groups who patrol the mosque area.

The area that houses the mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam, but it is also the site of the ruins of the biblical Jewish temple and the most sacred site in Judaism.

Police said Muslim youths were planning to attack Jewish worshippers who come to the area to pray at the Western Wall.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene an emergency security cabinet meeting on Tuesday night after the end of Rosh Hashana, according to a statement carried by local media.

The meeting comes amid a rising number of incidents involving youths throwing stones in Jerusalem.

A fatal car accident in which the driver lost control of his vehicle on Sunday night and died has been blamed on stone-throwing, Haaretz newspaper reported. Authorities are investigating the incident.

One Jewish youth was attacked and slightly injured on Monday, the Ynet news portal reported. A police officer was also slightly injured in the clashes near al-Aqsa.

Palestinians are opposed to Israeli control over the Islamic religious sites in the Old City. The area was occupied during the 1967 war.