Israeli police firing tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated bullets clashed with Palestinian stone-throwers at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site on Monday, the latest in a series of confrontations pushing the contested city to the brink of eruption. More than a dozen tear gas canisters and stun grenades landed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site and the holiest site in Judaism, said an AP photographer at the scene. At least 215 Palestinians were hurt in the violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, including 153 who were hospitalized, per Palestinian medics. Four of the injured were in serious condition. Police said nine officers were hurt, including one who was hospitalized. Monday's clash was the latest in the sacred compound after days of mounting tensions between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the Old City of Jerusalem, the emotional ground zero of the conflict. Hundreds of Palestinians and about two dozen cops have been hurt over the past few days.
The compound has been the trigger for rounds of Israeli-Palestinian violence in the past. A rep for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in a tweet that "extremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots" at the holy site. Israel has come under growing international criticism for its heavy-handed actions at the site, particularly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Violence has occurred almost nightly throughout Ramadan, beginning when Israel blocked off a popular spot where Muslims traditionally gather each night at the end of their daylong fast. Israel later removed the restrictions, but clashes quickly resumed amid tensions over an eviction plan in the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Per a White House statement, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan urged calm and expressed the US' "serious concerns" about the ongoing violence and planned evictions.
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