Three police officers and several Palestinians were lightly injured on Friday as clashes broke out at the entrance to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem ahead of Muslim Friday prayers at the site, police and Palestinian media reports said.
According to a police statement, Palestinians began throwing rocks at police and Border Police by the Old City’s Lions’ Gate after a man undergoing a security check refused to cooperate.
One of the policemen fired a warning shot because he felt he was in danger, the statement said. The officer was later taken to the hospital as a result of injuries to his head and shoulder.
Police sent reinforcements to the area who were searching for the suspects. The man who initially refused to cooperate was arrested at the scene, police said.
Police said they used force and “other means” to disperse the Palestinians.
Palestinian media reported that several worshippers were lightly wounded in the clashes, including one person with a fractured foot who was hit by a stun grenade.
Palestinian officials said some 50,000 people attended Friday prayers.
In a separate incident, police said that they had arrested an Israeli man who was acting suspiciously in the Old City. After carrying out a search on him, he was found to be carrying a knife.
Police then used force to subdue him after he refused to listen to police orders. There were no injuries in the incident, police said.
The motivation of the man, a resident of northern Israel, was not immediately clear.
While the Temple Mount is often a source of tension between Israelis and Palestinians, the complex has been relatively calm in recent months. Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has visited the compound several times this year, drawing backlash both from the Arab world and the US. However, mass prayers during Ramadan in April went by without major incidents.
The site is considered the holiest in Judaism, as the location of two biblical temples, while the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Mount is the third-holiest shrine in Islam, turning the area into a major flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Under the status quo, an arrangement that has prevailed for decades in cooperation with Jordan, Jews and other non-Muslims are permitted to visit the Temple Mount during certain hours but may not pray there.