JERUSALEM – Israeli police on Friday stormed into the most sensitive religious site in the Holy Land, throwing stun grenades at Palestinian rock-throwers, police said.
After Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the disputed hilltop in the Old City of Jerusalem, Palestinian youths hurled rocks at Israeli police posted at a gate outside, and at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below, police said.
Police stormed into the area outside the mosque and threw stun grenades, according to a police statement.
One policeman was lightly injured by a rock, police said.
The site is known to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary, which holds two large mosques. Muslims revere it as the site from where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Eighteen months of Palestinian-Israeli violence erupted after Ariel Sharon, now Israel's prime minister, visited the site in September 2000 to emphasize Israel's claim of sovereignty to what Jews call the Temple Mount. The mosques are built atop the ruins of the biblical Jewish Temples.