A confrontation broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at a holy site in Jerusalem.
The building is revered as the Noble Sanctuary by Palestinian Muslims and as the Temple Mount by Jews. Both groups value the location highly and there are often violent confrontations as a result of existing tensions.
The confrontation was said to have occurred after the site was occupied by a group of Palestinians who refused to let any Jewish individuals into the site to complete religious rituals. They would throw rocks at those who attempted to enter the site.
Israeli police attempted to provide an armed escort for about 20 people who were trying to enter the site to pray. The effort seemed to make Palestinian protesters even more angry.
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Because Muslims feel that the holy site is where Muhammad ascended to heaven, it is one of the most important religious sites in all of Islam. They strongly resent Jews holding prayers at the location despite it being sacred to both religious groups.
A website called on Palestinians to “stop the Zionists” from attempting to visit the holy site in Jerusalem during the Passover.
Palestinian protesters occupying the site were alleged to have emerged from the building and thrown rocks at the approaching visitors and their Israeli police escorts.
With the safety of the visiting group reportedly threatened, Israeli police chose to march into the building and force out the rioting protesters.
Outside of the holy site, police were said to have used tear gas to drive away the Palestinian protesters.
Despite calm being restored, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, said that the area was temporarily closed to visitors. Rosenfeld said that no arrests have been made following the incident.
Violent clashes like this are common during Jewish holidays as the ancient religious significance of the location is said to be at the heart of the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.
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