Clashes erupt at Jerusalem holy site for 2nd consecutive night

Police at the Holy site

Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinians for a second consecutive night at a Jerusalem holy site during a convergence of Islamic and Jewish holidays.

Groups of young Palestinians set off fireworks and threw stones at police officers on Wednesday night as they tried to barricade themselves inside the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The barricade happened on the site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, Israeli media reported, citing the police.

Police said the young Palestinians were trying to prevent worshippers from leaving the mosque, but authorities eventually cleared the way.

A night earlier, several people were injured in clashes at the site.

According to the police, around 350 people were arrested.

Police reportedly used tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and stun grenades to evacuate the mosque.

Some 40 Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and beatings, according to the Red Crescent.

In response, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a number of rockets at Israel.

The Israeli army hit back by shelling several targets in the coastal enclave.

The Noble Sanctuary, or al-Haram al-Sharif, is the third holiest site in Islam.

To the Jews, it is known as the Temple Mount, where both of Judaism’s ancient temples once stood.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is underway and Wednesday marked the beginning of the major Jewish holiday of Passover.

Muslims came to the Noble Sanctuary to pray during Ramadan.

Jews meanwhile traditionally make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover.

The sensitive hilltop holy site is under Muslim administration, while Israel is responsible for security. (dpa/NAN)

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