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Israel police, Palestinians clash at flashpoint Jerusalem holy site

Thousands of Palestinians prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem at the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday
Thousands of Palestinians prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem at the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday AFP
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Jerusalem (AFP)

Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers clashed at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site on Sunday as overlapping Jewish and Muslim holidays led to tensions there, an AFP journalist reported.

Police fired sound grenades as Palestinian protests intensified at the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported injuries without specifying a number.

Sunday marked the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday and thousands of Palestinians prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

It coincided with the Jewish Tisha B'av holiday, which typically sees an increase in Jewish visits to the holy site.

In a bid to ease tensions, police barred Jewish visits to the site on Sunday but Muslim worshippers still feared they would be allowed in and protested there. The clashes with police broke out afterward.

The compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who revere it as the location of the two biblical-era temples.

It is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

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