He added that Israeli soldiers closed all the gates of the Al-Qibali Mosque with iron chains and surrounded the Al-Aqsa Mosque preventing men under 50 years old from entering the mosque compound. The site is a frequent flashpoint of violence, and Israel has increased security around the area following several rounds of clashes in recent weeks.
Right-wing Jewish organizations have reportedly called on Jews to visit the compound in coming days, while Palestinian leaders in Israel have called on Palestinians to “protect” the mosque compound “in masses”.
Israeli police said late on Saturday they had arrested four Palestinian teenagers from East Jerusalem suspected of involvement in a stone-throwing attack on a auto on September 13 that caused the death of its 64-year-old Israeli driver.
Palestinians have accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of supporting claims by Jewish ultranationalists seeking access to the site.
The violence occurred just hours before the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which begins Sunday evening. The security forces managed to subdue the riot, police said. Many Jews were expected to visit the Temple Mount, home to biblical temples, in the coming days.
A police spokesperson said Palestinian “rioters” barricaded themselves inside al-Aqsa Mosque and placed obstacles to block entry.
The site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is often the scene of clashes, but tensions have risen in recent weeks.
According to a 50-year long agreement, Jews and people of other religions are allowed to enter the compound between 7:30am and 11:30am local time, but are not allowed to pray.
The Palestinian Authority was meant to be a temporary arrangement to serve as a governing administration over five years before negotiations leading to a final status, two-state settlement.
An Israeli was also killed in an incident after his auto was pelted with stones.
Right-wing Jewish groups were allegedly to gather at one of the entrances to the Temple Mount for prayers Sunday and then try to enter the site, Ynet reported.
Palestine Liberation Organization secretary general Saeb Erekat criticized the measures, saying “the Israeli government continues to incite against Palestinian lives, with a culture of hate that dehumanizes a whole nation”.