Firas Dibs, a spokesman for the Waqf, the Islamic authority that oversees the site, says dozens of worshippers scuffled with police after the guards closed the doors to the mosque and barricaded themselves inside. He says the director of the mosque was lightly wounded.
The Israel Police could not immediately be reached for comment.
The gold-domed mosque is part of the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, which Muslims consider their third holiest site after Mecca and Medina. It is the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the location of the two ancient temples.
The holy site is at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and past clashes there have sparked widespread violence.
Dibs said the police carry out routine security checks every morning, and that the policeman was only prevented from entering because he was wearing a kippah.
The Palestinians have long claimed that Israel plans to take over the site so it can rebuild the temple, allegations denied by the Israeli government, which says it has no plans to change the status quo at the site it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
In recent years there have been changes in the status quo, which originally prevented Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, but allowed Jews to visit it. Today, Jews are often denied visits to the Mount or are severely restricted—especially during sensitive periods.
In the past, Jews were allowed to visit on Saturdays as well as inside the mosques, however today, such an arrangement is no longer possible. he status quo has also granted Jordan involvement in the administration of the Temple Mount compound through the Waqf—an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Endowments.
Today the Jordanian influence on the Temple Mount has greatly expanded—even over the conduct of the Israel Police.