Oct 13, – The secretary-general of the United Nations on Monday condemned what he called “provocations” at Jerusalem’s holy sites, hours after the Israeli police said officers had locked Palestinians inside Al-Aqsa Mosque to thwart a riot as Jews visited for the holiday of Sukkot.
Israeli border policeman push Palestinian women during clashes in the Old City of Jerusalem,. Israeli police clashed with young Palestinian protesters on Monday demonstrating against Jews visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site, a spokeswoman said.
Scores of officers entered the mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem at 7 a.m. The officers shuttered the mosque with an unknown number of Palestinians inside, Rosenfeld said, as several hundred Jews and non-Muslim tourists ascended to Al-Aqsa compound during regular visiting hours, starting at 8 a.m.
Rosenfeld said no one was hurt or arrested. Among the visitors was Moshe Feiglin, a right-wing Israeli lawmaker, whose prior pilgrimages to the site have been a focal point for clashes.
The 37-acre compound is the holiest site in Judaism, and the third holiest in Islam. Jews call it the Temple Mount, Muslims the Noble Sanctuary. It has been a focus of increasing tension and violence in recent months. On Wednesday, before the weeklong Sukkot festival, three officers were hurt, and nine Palestinians were arrested in a confrontation where, Rosenfeld said, the police used stun grenades to disperse a crowd throwing stones, firebombs and other projectiles.
The U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said Monday that he was “deeply concerned by repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem.” First in a joint news conference with the Palestinian prime minister in the West Bank city of Ramallah, and later in an appearance here in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Ban said, “These only inflame tensions and must stop.”
The U.N. chief also condemned Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem, and said, during the appearance with Netanyahu, “both sides need to take steps to build trust and confidence.”
Netanyahu said that “Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo” on the Temple Mount. Israel seized the site along with the rest of the Old City in 1967 but immediately handed it over to the Muslim authorities.
Netanyahu blamed “Palestinian extremists” for spreading “false and baseless rumors that we are threatening the Muslim holy places.”
Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.