Muslims and Israeli police clashed at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound for a second straight day Monday as Jews celebrated their new year and protesters vowed to protect Islam's third-holiest site
As clashes at the Al-Aqsa compound continued for the third straight day on Tuesday, the U.S. and UN both urged restraint at the historic compound.
"The United States is deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the Haram al-Sharif Temple Mount. We strongly condemn all acts of violence," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the United Nations was also "concerned" at the violence.
Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Monday after Israeli security forces attacked Muslim worshipers inside occupied East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to witnesses.
"At least 170 Israeli special forces and police stormed the compound through Al-Magharabeh gate and started firing rubber bullets and stun grenades," Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Anadolu Agency.
Al-Khatib added that an elderly Palestinian man was taken to the hospital in critical situation. Israeli forces also stormed the Al-Qibali Mosque, attacked Muslim worshipers and arrested seven others. Israeli Jewish extremists had called for storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.
Following fierce clashes with Palestinian Muslim worshipers Israeli forces withdrew from occupied East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday.
"Israeli Special Forces and police withdrew from the mosque compound after four hours of clashes [with Palestinian worshipers]," Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of Al-Aqsa affairs, told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Following the withdrawal, he added, Israeli police stationed at the gates of the compound began allowing Palestinians back into the area after taking their identification cards.
Israel seized east Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
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