Israel - Palestinians

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli policemen entered a sensitive Jerusalem
holy site Friday and used stun grenades to disperse dozens of
Palestinian protesters who were hurling stones at security
personnel, police said.

The scene of the clash was the Old City compound known to Jews
as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

Israeli spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police entered the compound after Palestinians began lobbing stones at security forces
stationed outside one of the gates. The clash began immediately
after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd, he said.

Officers made three arrests, no one was injured and order was
quickly restored, Rosenfeld said.

The compound, holy to Jews and Muslims and captured by Israel in
1967, is one of the most combustible sites on earth. Clashes there
in the past have ignited broader violence.

A Muslim clerical body known as the Waqf runs the compound under
Israel's overall security control.

Also Friday, a Hamas leader said Israel had stepped up a
campaign of arrests against members of the Islamic militant group
in the West Bank, which Israel controls.

Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, said around
100 Hamas members had been arrested by the Israeli military in the
last two weeks in the West Bank, including eight of the group's
leaders.

An Israeli military spokesman would not comment on the number
arrested, saying only that the military "carries out action based
on security assessments and needs." He spoke on condition of
anonymity in line with the military's regulations.

The Western-backed Fatah, which governs Palestinian population
centers in the West Bank and has also carried out arrests of Hamas
members, recently signed a reconciliation deal with Hamas and has
scaled back pressure on the rival group.

The reconciliation followed a four-year split after Hamas' bloody seizure of Gaza Strip that left Fatah in control only of the West Bank.


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