Skip to main content International
The Web      Powered by

Protest at Jerusalem holy site ends

Report: Sharon says Palestinian leader Arafat should not 'feel secure'

Story Tools

• Interactive: Road map explainer
• Interactive: Timeline
• Map: Occupied lands
• Interactive: Key Players
• Gallery: Mideast lands
Ariel Sharon

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli police entered a Jerusalem holy site and used stun grenades and rubber pellets to quell Palestinians throwing rocks at police and Jewish worshippers at the end of Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque, according to a police spokesman.

There were some injuries and at least 14 arrests, Israeli police said. The police entered the mosque grounds but did not enter the mosque itself.

Police said many, perhaps thousands, had taken refuge in the mosque.

The incident ended a few hours later as police reached an agreement with the Muslim keepers of the grounds -- the Waqf -- that Israeli police would stand back and escort people out of the mosque without further clashes.

The mosque is on the Temple Mount, or Haram al Sharif, a site sacred to both Jews and Muslims, and is above the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray.

The area, long a flashpoint for conflict, has been the site of numerous clashes.

Religious Jews consider the Temple Mount to be holiest site in Judaism, but the Israeli government law bans from praying on the Temple Mount to maintain the status quo between the Jewish and Muslim communities.

The current Palestinian uprising, or Second Intifada, began days after Ariel Sharon, who later became Israeli prime minister, visited the Temple Mount in September, 2000, which the Palestinians viewed as a provocation.

In comments published Friday in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Sharon issued warnings aimed at Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat and Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah is a militant Islamic group that Israel considers a terror organization.

Sharon was quoted as saying that he "wouldn't suggest either one of them" -- Arafat or Nasrallah -- "should feel secure. I wouldn't propose that any insurance company give them coverage.

"Anyone who kills a Jew or harms an Israeli citizen, or sends someone to kill Jews, is a marked man. Period."

In the standoff at the mosque, several hundred Palestinians started throwing rocks at the police standing on the outer side of the Mughrabi gate, the Israeli police spokesman said, shortly after noon.

Israeli police said rocks were thrown onto the Western Wall, where Jewish worshippers were praying, and that prompted police to move onto the grounds.

Israeli police said they used stun grenades and rubber pellets to try to disperse the rock-throwers.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces launched an operation in Gaza to respond to weapons-smuggling in tunnels, Israeli and Palestinian sources said. Palestinian medical sources say at least one Palestinian civilian has been killed.

The disturbances come as Sharon faces a possible indictment for bribery and threats of more attacks from Palestinian militants after the Israeli assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin March 15. Israel considered Yassin a terrorist responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis.

CNN's Chris Burns contributed to this report

Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure

On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.