An Israeli police spokesman said in a statement that “Stones and fireworks were directed at the police forces, and at the other of the Jerusalem District Commander. Police entered onto the site and began evacuating the Temple Mount compound”.
Stun grenades were used by the police to control the clashes and several explosions were reportedly heard. A policeman was said to be lightly wounded, according to reports.
The Waqf, the religious authority that runs the mosque, confirmed the gates were closed after clashes broke out. Palestinian sources said there was a parade on the site known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif to mark the anniversary of Israel removing metal detectors that were temporarily placed at the entrance to the holy site following a terror attack there.
Israel installed security measures at the entrances to the site in response to a terror attack in which three Israeli Arabs shot dead two police officers near the Lions Gate. They used weapons they had stored at the mosque.
Israel removed the measures following uproar in the Arab world and violent confrontations over the holy site, which had resulted in the deaths of three Israelis and five Palestinians.
The Temple Mount site has been a flashpoint of violence for decades. In September 2015, violence escalated after PA President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated inflammatory false allegations that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Muslim holy sites, which led to an ongoing wave of violence that has resulted in the deaths of 65 Israelis and foreign nationals.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, where the two destroyed Jewish Temples were located, and the complex contains the Dome of the Rock as well as the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is considered to be the third holiest site in Islam.