Palestinians hurl chairs, stones from Al-Aqsa Mosque, injuring tourist, cop
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Palestinians hurl chairs, stones from Al-Aqsa Mosque, injuring tourist, cop

Two arrested after violent outbreak on Temple Mount; police searching for additional suspects in clashes

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Two Palestinians were arrested on Thursday after a group of men inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount hurled chairs, stones and other objects from the holy site, lightly hurting a tourist and an Israeli police officer.

The tourist was hit in the leg and sent for medical treatment, police said.

Police said the searches for additional suspects in the Temple Mount altercation were ongoing.

Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan, during which political sensitivities are often particularly volatile.

Thursday also marked the 51th anniversary of Israel’s capture of the Old City and the Western Wall during the 1967 Six Day War.

A lightly wounded tourist being carried off the Temple Mount by police officers after being hit with a rock thrown by a Palestinian protester from within the Al-Aqsa Mosque, June 7, 2018. (Israel Police)

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest site in Islam. Under an arrangement in place since Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site but not pray there.

Jews are allowed to enter during limited hours, with police officers guiding them through a predetermined route. The Jewish worshipers are banned from praying, displaying religious symbols or raising the Israeli flag on the mount.

Ramadan this year comes after weeks of violent clashes on the Gaza border.

Israel says the violent protests are orchestrated by the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, and used as cover for attempted terror attacks and breaches of the border fence.

The demonstrations were meant to end on May 15, but Hamas leaders have said they want them to continue.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, well over 100 Palestinians have died since the start of the weekly protests in March, which reached their peak on May 14 when 61 people died. At least half of those killed since the protests began in March have been identified as members of Hamas or other terror groups.

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