Israeli police said Thursday that they had sealed off Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem after clashes between Jewish fundamentalists and Muslims.
They said a dozen members of a Jewish extremist group had tried to enter the compound, which houses the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Police chief Yair Yitzhaki had asked officials of the Waqf if the Jews, members of the radical Temple Mount Faithful group, could meditate but not pray.
When the officials refused, Yitzhakai ordered the compound to be closed until further notice to allcomers, Muslims, Jews and tourists, the police said.
Israel's chief rabbis decided Monday to set up a committee to look into a potentially explosive proposal to build a synagogue on the Haram as-Sharif.
A group of four Jewish militants, accompanied by Israeli police, went to the site Monday, during the permitted visiting hours, but clashed with officials from the Waqf.
A Waqf official accused one of the militants of praying, and struck him with his walkie-talkie, inflicting a slight head wound.
He fled, pursued by Israeli police who had accompanied the Jews to the site, Israeli public radio reported - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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