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Clashes in Jerusalem as tensions rise prior to Obama visit

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Clashes in Jerusalem as tensions rise prior to Obama visit

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After Friday prayers in Jerusalem clashes broke out between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters just outside the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Police fired stun grenades at worshippers who threw rocks and firebombs.

Dozens of officers in riot gear entered the politically sensitive area, one of Islam’s holiest sites, to break up the protest.

Around 35 Palestinians were reported hurt along with a number of police.

There has been a recent surge in violence in the West Bank and in Jerusalem in the weeks leading up to a visit by US President Barack Obama at the end of this month.

Although the talks are to focus on the wider Middle East region including concerns about Syria and Iran, Palestinian peace talks could be on the agenda.

However Gaza’s Hamas leadership has called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to put Palestinian unity above talks with Israel.