Israeli police raid Muslim shrine to quell protest over excavation





JERUSALEM -- Israeli police raided the grounds of Islam's third-holiest shrine Friday, chained the compound's gates behind them, and fired tear gas and stun grenades into a crowd of thousands of Muslim worshippers to quell a rock-throwing protest over Israeli excavation work nearby.

The clash outside the Al Aqsa mosque set off protests across the Muslim world and scattered violence in the West Bank. It came a day after the rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah agreed to end months of factional fighting, a step that some Israeli leaders believe could lead to stepped up attacks against the Jewish state.

Friday's 90-minute battle erupted at the end of noon prayers and forced about 150 protesters to retreat into the mosque and set up barricades. The standoff ended when an Arab member of the Israeli parliament persuaded the protesters and the 200 police officers to leave the compound peacefully.

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network