Israel police close gates to Al-Aqsa mosque after clashes

The cause of the clashes was not immediately clear, but videos published by the Waqf showed police firing tear gas to disperse Palestinians.

Published: 27th July 2018 06:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2018 06:41 PM   |  A+A-

A Palestinian man walks past a closed-down gateway that leads to the Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 27, 2018, after the site was closed down by Israeli security forces following clashes there earlier. (Photo | AFP)

By AFP

JERUSALEM: Israeli police closed the gates to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound Friday, an AFP photographer said, after clashes erupted with Palestinian worshippers following midday prayers.

The Waqf, the religious authority that runs the mosque, confirmed the gates were closed after clashes broke out. Israeli police did not immediately comment.

Entry into and out of the mosque, which is Islam's third holiest site, was banned, the photographer said.

The cause of the clashes was not immediately clear, but videos published by the Waqf showed police firing tear gas to disperse Palestinians.

The site also includes the Western Wall, the most sacred site where Jews are currently allowed to pray, and the Dome of the Rock. 

It is one of the most fractious issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In July 2017 tens of thousands of Palestinians prayed outside for weeks after Israel installed new metal detectors after an attack.

Palestinians say a visit to the site by right-wing Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked the second intifada, or uprising, in 2000, though Israel disputes this.

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