Israeli Forces Storm Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Israel Palestine Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli border police officers detain a Palestinian protester in Jerusalem's Old City,September 14. Reuters/Ammar Awad

Updated | Israeli forces stormed Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound as they clashed with Palestinians for the third day straight at the flashpoint site Tuesday.

Dozens of Palestinians faced-off against the Israeli forces around the mosque, throwing stones at police who had entered the compound and who in turn used stun grenades on protesters, according to the AFP.

The mosque compound is sacred to both Muslims, who consider it the third-holiest in Islam, and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount, and consider it the holiest site in Judaism.

An Israeli police spokeswoman told AFP news agency that there were no arrests or casualties as a result of the clashes on Tuesday, saying that the Israeli forces were attempting to disperse the crowd to prevent stone-throwers.

Footage released by Al Jazeera showed Israeli riot police storming the mosque complex on Tuesday as Palestinians threw stones towards them. Israeli police can then be seen standing on top of the roof of the Al-Aqsa compound, overlooking Jerusalem's Old City.

Palestinian protesters had reportedly gathered at the site overnight to prepare barricades for clashes with police and to prevent a door of the mosque being closed. When the complex opened for visitors, stone were thrown in the direction of the Mughrabi Gate, the only entrance for non-Muslims.

Clashes began ahead of the beginning of the Jewish new year on Sunday, known as Rosh Hashanah, and came after two unofficial 'Muslim patrols', Murabitun and Murabatat, were banned from the compound by Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon last week. He claimed that the step was taken to protect national security and public order because of the "creation of tensions and violence on the Temple Mount."

Last month, a Christian tourist was beaten by four Muslim men after raising an Israeli flag at the site. The Muslim men were detained and the 35-year-old Christian man may face charges for incitement because of the sensitivity surrounding the complex.

Israel captured the area surrounding the complex, East Jerusalem, in the 1967 Six Day War, but left the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the administration of a Jordanian-Palestinian-led Islamic Waqf (Islamic Trust) because of the potential repercussions from Muslims in the region if they seized the complex.

Correction: This article's headline originally incorrectly stated that Israeli forces had stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque. The forces stormed the compound around the mosque, not the mosque itself.