Violent scuffles between Palestinians, Jewish radicals and Israeli police broke out Wednesday in Jerusalem's Old City when Jewish extremists tried to march on the holiest site, witnesses and Palestinian officials said.
Some 21 people, including the director of the Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, were lightly wounded when fisticuffs broke out between Palestinians and Jewish radicals who tried to enter the mosque compound, where renovation work has been at the center of an emotional dispute.
Israeli police intervened to help the Jewish demonstrators, according to Adnan Husseini, the director of the Waqf (the body that controls Jerusalem's Islamic endowments and runs the mosque compound.
Husseini told Voice of Palestine radio that the group of Jewish radicals shouted anti-Muslim slogans as they tried to enter the Aqsa area.
Israel and religious Jews have strongly opposed renovation work carried out on the mosque compound, which Jews call the Temple Mount.
Husseini has denied, however, Israeli accusations that the Waqf was conducting illegal expansion work and said the renovations were limited to replacing tiles along a number of pathways - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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