Sunday was a day of chaos in Jerusalem’s old-city – which houses the holiest sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
Organized Palestinian protestors stormed the area which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock mosque, famous to Jews as the site of the Temple mount, while a conference by the Jewish National Religious Temple Institute in Jerusalem was underway.
Israeli police in Jerusalem gathered early at the site early in the day, in anticipation of the violent protests, which called for an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Things got out of hand when Israeli police were hit with rocks and one Molotov cocktail, thrown by the Muslim rioters. There were reports that even tourists, who always frequent the holy area, were also being attacked with rocks. Palestinian demonstrators also poured oil through the streets to prevent Israeli police from gaining access to the site of the mosque.
In response the Israeli forces stormed the area of the al-Aqsa Mosque, using stun grenades. When the rioting had ended, nine policemen were reported as having suffered light injuries, after being pelted with rocks. Palestinian medical sources said that 17 Palestinians were treated for injuries; and 21 Palestinians were arrested.
According to an article in “The Age”:
The Jordanian Government’s spokesman in Jerusalem has demanded that Israel prevent its soldiers from entering the area known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif because, he said, it desecrated the area.
The Palestinian Authority Minister Hatem Abdel Kader, who is responsible for all PA Jerusalem affairs was arrested, and so was Islamic Movement cleric Ali Abu Shiyahe. Further details are pending on this latest eruption of the world’s Holy volcano.
Meanwhile, today in Turkey, demonstrators gathered to protest Israel’s actions in Sunday’s incident. According to an article in World Bulletin:
“[protesters] gathered in front of 4. Levent Metro station, thousands of people marched to Israeli consulate general. Shouting slogans to condemn Israel, protesters burned the Israeli flag in front of the consulate.”