Several injured as police clash with rioters on Temple Mount

Officers slightly wounded as protesters shoot fireworks and throw stones on holy site ahead of New Year holiday

Illustrative photo of Israeli police on the Temple Mount. (Sliman Khader/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Israeli police on the Temple Mount. (Sliman Khader/Flash90)

Several police were injured in riots that broke out on the Temple Mount Wednesday morning, as Jewish worshipers entered the site ahead of the New Year holiday.

A number of officers were lightly wounded and were treated at the scene, Israel Radio reported.

Police said the clashes broke out as the Mughrabi Gate to the holy site was opened to visitors, with dozens of masked protesters shooting fireworks at officers.

The protesters also threw stones and sprayed an unidentified substance at the security forces, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

The Mughrabi Gate is used by non-Muslim pilgrims, and is often the site of clashes with police.

Several protesters barricaded themselves in the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount after police fired rubber bullets, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

Tensions were raised ahead of the New Year holiday, which begins Wednesday evening, as Israel restricted access to the site for Muslims, according to Ma’an.

Extra security precautions in Jerusalem and the West Bank are often put in place ahead of major Jewish holidays.

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