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Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters at disputed holy site

Israeli police fired tear gas and threw stun grenades on Friday after protesters threw stones following weekly prayers at the compound containing Jerusalem's disputed Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.


AFP - Israeli police stormed Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound -- one of Islam's holiest sites -- on Friday after protesters threw stones following the main weekly prayers, police and witnesses said.

Police fired tear gas and threw stun grenades in an attempt to disperse the protesters.

"Our officers entered the compound after volleys of stones were thrown at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, below the mosque compound," Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby told AFP.

An AFP photographer at the site reported seeing 10 Palestinians and five police officers injured in the clashes.

There were similar outbreaks at the compound last Sunday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was placing two West Bank shrines -- The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem -- on a list of Israeli heritage sites.

The hilltop compound containing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock is Islam's third-holiest site, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Jews call the site Temple Mount and consider it their holiest site.

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