Police, Arab rioters skirmish on Temple Mount

Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters on the Temple Mount after Friday prayers on Feb. 22

Israeli police clashed with dozens of Arab stone throwers on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount as thousands of Christian worshipers descended on the Old City for Easter Sunday.

At least 16 rock-throwers were arrested, the Israel Police said, and two Border Police officers were lightly injured during the incident, which came after Israeli authorities opened the site, holy to both Judaism and Islam, to tourists. According to Palestinian media, police stormed the al-Aqsa mosque and injured several Palestinians.

The police later decided to close the site to visitors and restrict Muslim prayer to Israeli ID holders over the age of 50.

Riots on the Temple Mount are not uncommon, and often accompany political tension or visits by Israeli right-wing activists.

Sunday’s renewed violence accompanied the rare coincidence of both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Easter, which has drawn thousands of Christian faithful to Jerusalem’s Old City. The police dispatched large numbers of officers across the historic area of Jerusalem to help maintain security…

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