At least 57 Palestinian rioters were injured in clashes with Israeli police within the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Friday, medics said, as violence persisted during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a site also revered by Jews.
Israeli police said they intervened when hundreds of people hurled rocks and fireworks and drew close to the Western Wall, where Jewish worship was underway. A policewoman was injured by a stone and a tree was set alight by the fireworks, police said.
Rioting began about an hour after the end of the noon prayer. After the prayers seemed to have passed quietly, about 450 Muslims, including masked men, marched in the direction of the police station on the Temple Mount and threw stones at it, which forced police to drop tear gas from a drone to disperse the crowd.
The rioters prepared for the clashes the night before, setting up fortifications and stockpiling stones and fireworks. The rioters — some of them masked and flying Hamas flags — began rampaging in the early morning hours, and despite the stone-throwing, the police waited for the prayer to end and the faithful left before taking action.