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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Clash at disputed Jerusalem site
Dome of the Rock at the Haram al-Sharif
The Temple mount or Haram al-Sharif is the site of regular clashes
Israeli police have stormed the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, using stun grenades to disperse Palestinians who threw stones at police and Jewish visitors.

The incident came as Israel marked Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of its military capture of the Palestinian dominated east of the city.

The site is known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary.

About 3,000 police were stationed in Jerusalem on Monday in the hope of preventing such clashes.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said hundreds of Palestinians threw stones at a Jewish group touring the al-Aqsa and police accompanying them.

Additional police were sent into the compound to stop the stone throwing.

'Dangerous violation'

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Jewish visitors should not have been allowed into the mosque compound.

"The Israeli government and the international community must stop these unjustified and dangerous violations that risk reaping regrettable consequences," he said during a tour of a Palestinian school in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said the incident occurred because a "horde of extremist and criminal settlers attacked the al-Aqsa". He said the Palestinian stone throwers were defending themselves.

The Haram al-Sharif houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. It is located in east Jerusalem, an area that Palestinians hope will be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Israeli policy is that Jerusalem will never be divided. The Temple Mount is revered by Jews as the site of the first and second Biblical temples.

The site is at the centre of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Jewish radicals opposed to Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip this summer have issued threats against the Islamic monuments, hoping to distract the government from carrying out the disengagement.

Fatah protest

On Sunday, armed Palestinian militants barged into government offices in the West Bank city of Nablus to demand jobs and guarantees of their safety, Palestinian security officials said.

The officials said one worker at the Nablus governor's office was injured when the men began firing their guns into the air.

The militants were members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, which has links with the Fatah faction of Mr Abbas.

In a statement, the brigades said Mr Abbas had not delivered on promises of jobs for them in the security services, and safety from being pursued by Israel.

They accused Israel of still trying to kill their members, despite a February ceasefire deal.


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