Israeli security forces and Arab worshippers clashed on Sunday morning at the Temple Mount, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is located, as some of the Arab worshippers prepared to throw stones and block entrances to the site to prevent Jewish pilgrims from visiting for the first intermediary day of Passover. The Israeli security forces pushed the worshippers into the mosque compound before the Jewish visitors entered the site, according to reports.
The clashes on Sunday come after unrest on Friday, which led to the arrest of nearly 500 people. During that unrest, Israeli security forces in an unusual move entered the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. “Hundreds of law-breaking young people disturbed the peace in the Temple Mount area and inside the mosque during violent riots, which have nothing to do with the sanctity of the holiday and the holy places. These violent outlaws are the ones who defile and desecrate the holy places and try to harm innocent civilians and security forces,” the Israel Police said in a statement.
Also on Sunday, Palestinian rioters threw rocks at several public buses driving near the Old City of Jerusalem, which injured five people. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a statement called on Palestinians to come to the mosque and “defend it” and called the Israeli security forces actions a “dangerous escalation, the repercussions of which are to be borne by the Israeli government alone.”