JERUSALEM: Muslim worshippers and Israeli police clashed Sunday at a major Jerusalem holy site during prayers marking the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Palestinian medics said at least 14 people were wounded, one seriously, in the skirmishes with police at the site, which Muslims refer to as the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Jews refer to as the Temple Mount. Witnesses said at least two people were arrested.
Tens of thousands of Muslims had flocked to the site in Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday for holiday prayers, police said.
It is the holiest site for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It has long been a flashpoint at the epicentre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli police barred entry to the compound to Jewish visitors on Sunday before clashes erupted. Sunday is also the Ninth of Av, the Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of the two Biblical temples which stood at the site in antiquity.