Tensions around Al Aqsa mosque escalates as Israeli police use stun grenades to disperse Muslims outside one of the entrance gates to Jerusalem's holy site.

A Palestinian youth is detained by an Israeli police during clashes after Palestinians held prayers just outside Al Aqsa mosque on July 17, 2017.
A Palestinian youth is detained by an Israeli police during clashes after Palestinians held prayers just outside Al Aqsa mosque on July 17, 2017.

Muslims and Israeli forces clashed in several East Jerusalem neighbourhoods on Monday after police used stun grenades to disperse a group which had gathered to pray near Lions gate, one of the entrances to the Al Aqsa mosque compound.

There have been frequent standoffs between Israeli police and Muslims gathering outside the gates of Al Aqsa for each of the daily prayers after Israel put in place harsh security measures around the holy mosque on Friday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 50 people were injured during the incident, which was followed by clashes concentrated in the Issawiya and Silwan neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel's police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said six Palestinians were arrested during the clashes.

Palestinians chant slogans outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to Al Aqsa mosque compound on July 17, 2017. (AFP)
Palestinians chant slogans outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to Al Aqsa mosque compound on July 17, 2017. (AFP)

The Palestinian Authority's leading faction, Fatah, has called for a "Day of Rage" on Wednesday, in response to the new security measures, which Palestinians say alter the delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights, known as the status quo.

Mosque officials have called on Muslims not to pass through metal detectors installed at the gates when the mosque reopened Sunday after a two-day closure imposed in response to a deadly shootout within the holy site.

The site is considered exceptionally holy by both Muslims and Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.

Israel closed the holy site on Friday after two Israeli police officers were allegedly attacked by what the Israelis identified as three Israeli Palestinians. .

The attack was condemned by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but the Palestinian Authority has also since criticised Israel's reaction.

Al Aqsa mosque is Islam's third-holiest site after the grand mosque in Mecca and Prophet Muhammed's mosque in Medina.

Thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews from around the world regularly travel to Jerusalem to pray at the compound which is considered as a sacred site by all three of the world's major religions.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies