April 16 - Israeli police use stun grenades to disperse Palestinian protesters as tensions erupt at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa compound. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Tensions boil over in Jerusalem as Israeli riot police enter one of city's most revered religious compounds to disperse rock-throwing Palestinians opposed to any Jewish attempts to pray there. The confrontation comes after Israeli police tried to escort visitors onto the plaza revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's walled Old City. Israeli police in riot gear pushed onto the plaza but did not enter al-Aqsa itself. The Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem says the violence is unacceptable. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) THE PALESTINIAN MUFTI IN JERUSALEM, MOHAMMED HUSSEIN, SAYING: "What happened today is outrageous, scandalous and a serious assault on al-Aqsa mosque. This is unacceptable by all standards and human rights charters in this holy Islamic shrine. What is going on is aggression against al-Aqsa mosque." Tensions at the site run high during Jewish holidays. Jews are now celebrating Passover. Many Palestinians fear ultranationalist Jews will try to pray on the compound. Aware of the volatile mix of politics and religion, Israel has largely stymied Jewish prayer on the plaza overlooking the Western Wall since capturing East Jerusalem along with the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war.