Group of tourists enters holy site in Jerusalem accompanied by police force. Some 150 Muslim worshippers gather around them, some hurling stones. Nine policemen, 17 worshippers lightly hurt; five people detained
Nine policemen and two Muslim worshippers were lightly injured in riots which erupted Sunday morning at the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem.
The police officers were wounded by stones hurled by rioters and were evacuated to the Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals in the capital. Five people were arrested on suspicion of hurling stones.
Following the riots, the police prevented worshippers from entering the compound.
The incident began when a group of tourists entered the Temple Mount compound accompanied by a police force. At a certain stage, some 150 worshippers started gathering around them and calling out towards them.
Some of the worshippers began throwing stones at the group. The police force fired stun grenades in an attempt to gain control of the riot. Nine police officers were lightly injured by stones. Six of them received medical treatment on the site and the rest were evacuated to hospitals.
Fifteen worshippers were injured by stones and two were lightly hurt by the stun grenades and were evacuated to the al-Maqasid Hospital in east Jerusalem. Adult worshippers attempted to calm things down, while the group of tourists was removed from the site.
Several stone throwing incidents were recorded in the alleys of the Old City after the riot. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Many police officers were deployed in the area, and Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen arrived at the Temple Mount and held an evaluation of the situations with senior commanders.
The defense establishment has declared a heightened state of alert across the country ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. On Saturday evening, a closure was imposed on the West Bank until Monday at midnight. Residents will only be allowed to cross into Israel in humanitarian cases.
The defense establishment will focus its Yom Kippur Eve activity around cemeteries, while on Yom Kippur itself forces will be deployed around synagogues.
Vehicles will not be allowed to pass from east Jerusalem to the western part of the city in order to minimize the friction between Jews and Arabs.
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