Thousands of Palestinians protest at Jerusalem holy site

Thousands of Palestinian protesters have burst through a section of a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site that has been closed by Israeli court order for over a decade.

Palestinians chanting "Allahu Akbar" streamed into a sealed-off area of al-Aqsa Mosque during prayers Friday. Israeli police said the crowds dispersed peacefully afterward.

Tensions have escalated at the contested compound. Similar protests turned into scuffles with police earlier this week. Anticipating unrest, police arrested 60 Palestinians overnight suspected of "causing disturbances."

Israeli police accused Waqf, the Islamic authority that oversees the compound, of trying to "change the status quo" at the sensitive site by convening in the closed area last week.

Israel closed the section in 2003 because it was home to a heritage organization allegedly connected with a militant Islamic group.