Israeli police stormed Islam's third holiest shrine Friday after hundreds of angry Muslim worshippers threw stones and bottles to express their outrage over contentious Israeli works. Some 200 police confronted the Muslims at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound. Witnesses said police hurled stun grenades.
Reports said at least 15 protesters and 17 officers were injured in the clash. As many as 300 protesters barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque.
The protesters are angry about Israeli work on an earthen ramp leading to the hilltop compound, which they fear will damage the mosque. According to the AP, the clashes erupted at the end of Friday prayers at the site.
Israeli security forces tripled their usual numbers around the Old City Friday morning, expecting confrontations.
"This is an aggression against the mosque," Mohammed Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, said Friday. "I don't know what impact this aggression will have on the Palestinian territories, but past experience has shown that every time there were clashes at the mosque, it engulfed the other parts of the West Bank and Gaza."