RAMALLAH, West Bank – Violence was reported Friday in several areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem after Palestinian activists called for protests in part to commemorate the anniversary of the second deadly intifada uprising.
Incidents of stone throwing and road blocking were reported in cities from the north of the West Bank to the south. Dozens of minor injuries were reported by Palestinians as Israeli soldiers sought to disperse the protesters, who in one case were throwing stones at Israeli vehicles travelling on West Bank roads.
Abdullah Abu Rahme, an activist, said the protests were called for to mark the 13th anniversary of the second intifada, which broke out in September 2000 to protest a controversial visit by then-Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to Al Aqsa mosque and new Israeli restrictions on use of the Muslim holy place.
Israeli police restricted entry to Al Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers to Palestinian men older than 50. The decision came after days of violent protests in Al Aqsa's compound against visits by Israelis to the mosque area, revered also to Jews as the Temple Mount.
On Friday fierce clashes with police occurred in Jerusalem's Old City and in several neighborhoods after midday prayers. Hundreds of Palestinians who were not able to reach the mosque held prayers in the streets leading to the Old City.
Israeli news reports quoted police spokeswoman Luba Sumri as saying that police had arrested nine people in Jerusalem and that one police officer had been injured in the clashes.
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