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Israeli police clash with Palestinians at Eid al-Adha gathering in Jerusalem

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By Euronews
Israeli police clash with Palestinians at Eid al-Adha gathering in Jerusalem

Israeli police fired grenades to disperse Palestinians during clashes outside Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque on Sunday.

An ambulance service said that at least 14 Palestinians were taken to hospital while Israel's Kan public radio said four police officers were injured.

Tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers had gathered for the religious celebration of Eid al-Adha. But tension had mounted at the start of the holiday since it overlapped with a Jewish fasting day, Tisha B'Av.

Palestinians chanted "With our soul and blood we will redeem you, Aqsa" to authorities. The face off with police developed into scuffles.

The crowd quickly dispersed after sound grenades exploded in the compound, according to witnesses.

Police said in a statement that they deployed forces at the sight expecting there to be "dispersed rioters".

The area is known as Temple Mount to Jews, home to two biblical Jewish temples. For Muslims it is the third holiest site in the world which they call the Noble Sanctuary. This makes it one of the most sensitive places in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The compound is located in a part of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that has not won international recognition.

Shootings at the Gaza border

Two separate incidents have led to a total of 5 deaths at the Gaza border over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Israeli army said its troops shot dead four Palestinians near the border. According to the military's statement the militants were heavily armed with assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and hand grenades.

The Israeli troops started shooting after one of the Palestinians entered Israel. One of the men threw a grenade at the Israelis.

Then on Sunday, Israel's military opened fire on a militant - according to a Palestinian medic the man was killed.

The Israel Defense Forces released a statement on twitter:

“IDF troops spotted an armed terrorist approaching the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorist opened fire towards the troops,”

They also said no Israelis were injured during the incident.