Israeli security forces on Friday clashed with Palestinians near Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound as Israeli authorities limited access to the site. Eleven Israeli police officers were hurt and two Palestinians arrested, a police spokesman said, according to the AP.
Friday's clashes started in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood just outside the gates of the Old City following the noon prayers when a dozen masked youths hurled stones at police. As police moved into the neighbourhood to arrest the youths, residents threw stones, water and chairs at them. Israeli sources said it was an isolated incident.
Several hundred Palestinians performed prayers in the open just outside the Old City after being denied access to Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli forces set up checkpoints around and within the Old City and turned back Palestinians who do not live or work there, witnesses said.
In the Gaza Strip, thousands of people on Friday participated in demonstrations called by the Hamas rulers and the Islamic Jihad movement. "The real Al-Aqsa battle has started," said Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya.
About 600 people took part in a march in the Jordanian capital "in support of Al-Aqsa mosque and protesting Israel's violations in Jerusalem," reports said.