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Palestinians Stone Western Wall Worshipers; Police Shut Temple Mount to non-Muslims

Elderly woman injured by rock at Western Wall in first such attack in several years on Jewish holy site, and third day of confrontations in and near the Temple Mount.
Palestinians threw rocks at Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall on Tuesday, striking a woman of 73 in the head, on a third day of confrontations involving the adjacent Temple Mount.
Paramedics said they treated the woman at the scene for a light head injury.
It was the first case in several years of Palestinians throwing rocks from the Temple Mount at worshipers at the Western Wall, an incident which police see as a worrisome development.
Police arrested 11 masked protesters they said were involved in the clashes, including the hurling of stones at the Western Wall.
Earlier police decided in consultation with government officials to shut the Temple Mount to visits by non-Muslims through the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Police have also reinforced deployment in the area as a preventive measure, as officers pursue dialogue with Waqf officials to try and maintain the peace.
There have been clashes for two days at the Temple Mount, home to Islam's third holiest site, Al-Aqsa mosque.
Several Palestinians were wounded by rubber-coated bullets shot to quell stone-throwing protests at Jewish visitors to the plaza on Monday.
A policeman, two Waqf officials and several Palestinian protesters were wounded in separate confrontations at the Temple Mount on Sunday, when police said Muslim protesters were holed up inside Al-Aqsa mosque with a stockpile of stones and other objects.
Police arrested five people, two Palestinian and three British tourists during the protests. Police said the tourists were removed from the Temple Mount and deported back to Britain.
After years it prohibited non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount during Ramadan, police recently decided to allow it due to the relative calm in the compound during the first ten days of the Muslim holiday. However, immediately after it was opened to non-Muslims, Palestinian youth, some of them masked, started hurling stones at the visitors and policemen accompanying them.
After the initial confrontations police continued to allow non-Muslims to enter the Temple Mount, but only 18 Jews visited the holy site, along with 375 tourists.

Nir Hasson
Haaretz Correspondent
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.727508

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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