Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinian protesters in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem) on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Palestinians’ second Intifada.
Clashes broke out on Friday after Israeli troops attacked a group of Palestinians in the Old City, who were protesting against an increase in Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
At least nine Palestinians were arrested.
Similar protests against the entry by Jewish groups under police escort to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound were also held in the West Bank cities of Nablus and al-Khalil (Hebron).
Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians have rallied in the Gaza Strip to demand an end to Jewish visits to al-Aqsa Mosque.
Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas made a public appeal for a halt to the al-Aqsa visits during a speech at the United Nations on Thursday.
“There must be an end to the near-daily attacks on the religious sites in Occupied al-Quds, at the forefront of which is al-Aqsa Mosque, where the continuation of such attacks will have dire consequences,” Abbas said.
The second Palestinian intifada (Palestinian uprising against Israel) broke out on September 28, 2000, after a visit by then Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Some 300 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops during the five-year Intifada.
The al-Aqsa compound is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews. The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. It is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Jews are not allowed to pray inside the compound.
By Press TV
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