Thursday, March 23, 2017

Palestinians clash with Israeli police at holy site

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, left, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shake hands before their meeting at the presidential compound in Jerusalem, Monday, June 27, 2016.

AP LogoJERUSALEM (AP) — Masked Palestinians threw stones and shot fireworks at Israeli police at a contentious Jerusalem holy site for a second day in a row on Monday, as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the resumption of peace efforts.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the Palestinians, who were holed up in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, attacked officers with fireworks and rocks they had stockpiled inside. The mosque is part of a compound sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

He said police locked the protesters in the mosque and opened the site to tourists and Jewish visitors. The protesters attacked police again later in the day, prompting them to use “riot-dispersal means,” he said, adding that 10 people have been arrested in the past two days.

Muslims refer to the site as the Noble Sanctuary, where they believe the Prophet Muhammad embarked on a night journey to heaven. Jews refer to the site, where the two Jewish temples stood in biblical times, as the Temple Mount.

Violence erupted there in mid-September before spreading.

Since then Palestinians have carried out dozens of attacks, including stabbings, shootings and car ramming assaults, killing 32 Israelis and two visiting Americans. About 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time, most identified as attackers by Israel.

The unrest has led to renewed calls for peace talks, which last broke down more than two years ago.

Speaking at Tel Aviv University, the U.N. chief said the two sides need to engage with the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.N., U.S., EU and Russia — to resume peace negotiations.

“Leaders on both sides need to urgently take concrete steps to restore hope and a political horizon so that the Israeli and Palestinian people see a pathway to peace, not a quagmire of recurring violence,” Ban said.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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