Clashes took place on Monday morning between Israeli security forces and Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque compound. Further conflict is anticipated this week as the biblical Jewish holiday Sukkot begins.
— صايل (@Pxlestine) September 28, 2015
“At least 370 Israeli soldiers and police officers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque through Al-Mugharbeh and Al-Silsila gates and fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at worshippers near the Al-Qibali Mosque,” witnesses told Anadolu Agency.
— Rami (@RamiSafadi93) September 28, 2015
Witnesses also reported that Israeli soldiers climbed on the roof of the Al-Qibali Mosque, broke windows and shot at worshipers.
The clashes, which began on Sunday, have now entered their second day after Israeli police were deployed to the Al Aqsa compound.
Tensions allegedly erupted as Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque in an attempt to protect the mosque during the eight day festival of Sukkot.
Palestinians have been afraid that Israel would change the rules regarding visitation to the compound, due to Israeli police efforts to allow Jewish activists to tour the courtyard of the mosque.
The increasing number of visits by Jews to the holy site has been linked to a series of Jewish holidays celebrated over the recent weeks.
Al Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam, is viewed by Jews to be the Temple Mount and is considered the most holy place in Judaism.
The Israeli authorities called for a halt of Jewish visits to the compound on Sunday while age restrictions on Muslims entering the compound were lifted on Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. However, with the beginning of Sukkot, an age limit was re-imposed on those under 50.
A Jewish group called the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement is reported to have called for a march towards Al Aqsa on Wednesday.