Jerusalem: Israeli police sparked new clashes when on Thursday they entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem to facilitate the arrival of Jewish visitors to the flashpoint holy site, according to local media.
Israel's state-owned Kan Reshet Bet Radio reported that "hundreds" of Jewish visitors escorted by police forces arrived in the early morning hours at the site, ANS quoted Xinhua news agency as reporting.
The police said in a statement that Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque and hurled firecrackers and stones at the Jewish officers.
Although the site sacred to Jews is in close proximity to the mosque, the latter is separate from the Jewish sites and is under the control of a wakf jointly led by Jordan/Palestine. However the area of the Old City is under Israeli control and secured by Israeli police.
The holy site, which Muslims call the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, which Israel annexed during the 1967 Middle East war.
Palestinian media reported that the police responded by firing tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets.
At least one Palestinian was injured, according to a statement by the Palestinian Red Crescent.
At least 200 Palestinians have been injured at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during clashes with Israeli forces over the past few weeks.
The Israeli-Palestinian clashes in East Jerusalem and four deadly Palestinian attacks in Israeli cities in recent weeks come as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, with thousands of Muslim worshipers and Jewish visitors arriving at the hilltop compound.