Violence erupts at al-Aqsa mosque as Israel marks Jerusalem Day

Violence erupts at al-Aqsa mosque as Israel marks Jerusalem Day

Tensions were particularly high as Israel marked 'Jerusalem Day'

Palestinian protesters threw rocks and Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in clashes outside the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Monday as Israel marked the anniversary of its capture of parts of the city in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said more than 180 Palestinians were injured in the violence, of whom more than 80, including one person in critical condition, were transferred to hospitals.

Al-Aqsa, Islam's third-holiest site, has been a focal point of violence in Jerusalem throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The clashes have raised international concern.

Tensions were particularly high as Israel marked 'Jerusalem Day', its annual celebration of the capture of East Jerusalem and the walled Old City that is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy places.

Violence erupts at al-Aqsa mosque as Israel marks Jerusalem Day
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In an effort to ease the situation, Israeli police said they had banned Jewish groups from paying Jerusalem Day visits to the holy plaza that houses al-Aqsa, and which Jews revere as the site of biblical Jewish temples.

Police were also considering whether to reroute a traditional Jerusalem Day march in which thousands of Israeli flag-waving Jewish youth walk through the Old City's Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter.

Police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at hundreds of Palestinians, who hurled rocks at them on al-Aqsa's stone-strewn plaza, witnesses said.

"Extremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots today on the Temple Mount," Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted. "What we see now is the result of that."

Police said they had deployed thousands of officers in Jerusalem streets and on rooftops to keep the peace.

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