Israeli police and Palestinians clash at al-Aqsa on Jerusalem Day

Palestinians and the Israeli police clashed in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa compound on Sunday as tensions ratcheted up in the city with an Israeli holiday coinciding with the last days of Ramadan.

Palestinians and the Israeli police clashed in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa compound on Sunday as tensions ratcheted up in the city with an Israeli holiday coinciding with the last days of Ramadan.

Israelis are marking Jerusalem Day, when they celebrate their country’s capture and occupation of the city’s east in 1967.

A march has been planned through the Old City, including in the Muslim Quarter, which has particularly angered Palestinians who are observing the final days of the holy month of Ramadan.

تواصل اقتحامات المستوطنين للمسجد الأقصى المبارك منذ الصباح

— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) June 2, 2019

Ahead of the march, Palestinians were urged to occupy the al-Aqsa compound, in an act of defiance against Jewish Israelis who were expected to enter the holy site in a move seen as controversial and provocative.In response to Palestinians rallying in al-Aqsa, Israeli police raided the compound.

The Waqf, an Islamic organisation that oversees the site, said Israeli police fired rubber bullets and used pepper spray against Palestinians as they cracked down on the rally. Two Palestinians were arrested, the Waqf said.

Watch | Israeli police raid the southern ceiled building in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and intimidate the Muslim worshippers, today.

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) June 2, 2019

In a statement, the police said protesters had barricaded themselves in the al-Aqsa Mosque and threw chairs and stones at forces who were attempting to “disperse” them.

Israelis are usually prevented from entering the holy site during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when worshippers stay inside the site. This is the first time in around 30 years that Israelis have been allowed inside the site they call Temple Mount during this period

Al Jazeera reports that settlers gathered outside the compound and police decided to let them in.

Palestinians inside the mosque protested against the admittance of the Israelis, with some throwing chairs and other items, prompting Israeli forces to enter the mosque and fire tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets, and arrest a number of Palestinians.

The Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by Temple Mount activists in May requesting they be allowed access on Jerusalem Day, saying it was up to the police to decide. Meanwhile, the police said the custom was to refuse Jewish access, but that a final decision had not been made.

The last time Jerusalem Day fell during the last days of Ramadan, Israelis were not allowed access to Al-Aqsa.

More violence could occur in Jerusalem as marches are planned in the city to mark the day. Palestinians usually close their businesses, expecting clashes, and their movements are usually restricted by Israeli authorities.