News World Fifty injured as riots engulf Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Fifty injured as riots engulf Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Israeli soldiers detain a teenage boy as tensions in Jerusalem escalate after a terror attack at Temple Mount. AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean
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About 50 Palestinians have been wounded in overnight clashes with Israeli police near a Jerusalem site holy to Jews and Muslims, with 15 hit by rubber bullets.

The rioting was sparked by new security measures introduced over the weekend by the Israelis after police were attacked at the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem Grand Mufti Mohammed Ahmed Hussein criticised the new measures – which include metal detectors and turnstiles at the entrance to the site – as altering the status quo.

The Palestinians fear Israel is trying to retake control of the site by stealth.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed on Friday that he did not want to alter the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the site and permits Jews to visit but not pray there.

The site is sacred to both religions, as it houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina but also the ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple.

Questions about control of the site frequently lead to outbursts of fighting.
On Friday, two Israeli police officers were killed and another injured after three men opened fire on security officers working at the site.

The attackers, believed to be Israeli Arabs, were also killed. Israel then closed off the area, preventing Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque.