Saturday, March 06, 2010

Riots on the Temple Mount

Dozens hurt in clashes at revered Jerusalem mosque
Ammar Awad
Fri Mar 5, 2010 11:34am EST

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police and Palestinians clashed outside Jerusalem's flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque Friday and at least 35 people were injured, Israeli police and Palestinian medical workers said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli forces of "provocation" and "crossing red lines" in an effort to derail a resumption of peace negotiations expected shortly under U.S. mediation. In a statement, Abbas appealed to Washington to hold Israel back to prevent a "war of religion" in the Middle East.

Israel's security minister blamed Abbas's Islamist rivals Hamas for fomenting the trouble. It started after weekly prayers at the third holiest site in Islam, in an area that Jews also revere as the site of their biblical Temple.

Muslim worshippers staging a protest after prayers against an Israeli government plan to include holy sites in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in an Israeli national heritage plan flew Hamas flags and threw stones at police who had taken up positions in the compound surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque.

Background here.