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Israel police arrest 15 in clashes

06 September 2013, 20:04

Jerusalem - Israeli police fired stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinian protesters after Friday prayers in Jerusalem's Old City, arresting 15 of them, police said.

"Several hundred Palestinian youths demonstrated after Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa compound, and threw stones at Israeli security forces," spokesperson Luba Samri said.

"The police stormed the compound and dispersed the stone-throwers using stun grenades.

"One policeman was injured and 15 of the protesters were arrested," she told AFP.

Police then successfully evacuated the compound, Samri added.

The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Jerusalem's Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.

Jews celebrated the second day of their new year, or Rosh Hashana, on Friday, and police had stepped up their presence in and around the Old City for the occasion.

It houses the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Jews worship at the bottom of the Western Wall, venerated as the last remnant of wall supporting the Second Temple complex, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD and considered Judaism's holiest site.

Jews are not allowed to pray inside the compound.


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