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Israeli police and Palestinians clash again at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem amid heightened tensions

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Israeli police and Palestinians clashed again Friday morning at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, an important holy site for Jews and Muslims.

The skirmish left more than two dozen Palestinians injured, two seriously, after Palestinian youths at the site began throwing rocks at police and setting off fireworks around 4 a.m., according to Haaretz of Israel. The police responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades.

At least 27 people were injured, Haaretz reported, citing the Palestinian Red Crescent medical service.

Israeli police and Palestinians have clashed frequently at the site over the past week despite temporarily isolating Jews during the last 10 days of Ramadan to avoid provocation, which is normal practice.

ISRAEL RESPONDS ON HAMAS TARGETS AFTER SECOND ROCKET THIS WEEK AMID TENSION

Israeli police deploy to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The incident came just hours after Israel targeted several Hamas sites on Thursday morning following a rocket attack intercepted by Israeli air defenses. Another rocket strike was launched towards Israel on Monday.

Nearly a year after the 11-day Israeli-Palestinian war, tensions have escalated following a series of deadly attacks in Israel – including a shooting in Tel Aviv earlier this month in which a Palestinian opened fire on a bar, killing three Israelis – and military operations in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli police enter the Al Aqsa Mosque compound where they clashed with Palestinian protesters after morning prayers in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Al-Aqsa, known as the Temple Mount to Jews, has been linked to previous violent conflicts.

A Palestinian protester hides behind a makeshift shield during clashes with Israeli police at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022.

A Palestinian protester hides behind a makeshift shield during clashes with Israeli police at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, April 22, 2022.
((AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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A longstanding ban on Jews praying at the site has eroded in recent years, fueling Palestinian fears that Israel is considering taking over or dividing the site. However, Israel says it is committed to the status quo and has accused Hamas of inciting violence.

Tens of thousands of Muslims are expected to pray at the site later Friday for the weekly prayers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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