A second consecutive day of violence at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site prompted a rare warning Monday from the king of Jordan, the custodian of the ancient sites. The holy site is a frequent flashpoint and its fate is a core issue at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier Monday, Israeli police and Palestinian stone-throwers clashed for the second day at the site. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said protesters threw rocks at officers who entered the area. She said several masked Palestinians suspected of stone throwing were arrested.
Police fired stun grenades while hitting and kicking demonstrators and journalists, including from AFP, as they sought to push back crowds.
In Washington, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. is “deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions” surrounding the Jerusalem holy site and called on all sides to “exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve unchanged historic status quo” at the site.
The director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Omar Kiswani, said dozens of people had stayed at the mosque overnight. He said police “stormed” the area Monday morning, firing tear gas and stun grenades and making several arrests.
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