by Melanie Lidman
Jerusalem police entered the Temple Mount on Friday following afternoon prayers, after worshipers began throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at police forces on the Mugrabi bridge. Police used stun grenades in order to disperse the crowds.
Nine policemen were lightly hurt in the incident, three of them received treatment on the scene while six were evacuated to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalemís Ein Kerem, a police spokesman said. Palestinian media said at least 15 protesters were injured.
A Yediot Aharonot photographer was also wounded from a stone that hit his face. Police say the photographer refused treatment from Red Crescent paramedics.
A number of Muslim youth barricaded themselves inside a mosque and refused to leave.
Clashes were also expected in the West Bank at the funeral of a Palestinian who died of his wounds on Thursday after being shot by IDF soldiers during a confrontation with stone-throwers two weeks ago.
On Thursday, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said police were "on high alert" for possible disturbances on Friday but did not issue age restrictions for Muslims wishing to enter for Friday prayers.
When police are worried about violent demonstrations, they impose age limits which prohibit men under the age of 40 from entering the plaza and require Jerusalem residency.
This week, police closed the Temple Mount to non-Muslim visitors twice. On Sunday, they closed the plaza after Likud MK Moshe Feiglin invoked his parliamentary rights as an MK and demanded access to the Dome of the Rock, an area that is currently closed to non-Muslims. On Wednesday, an altercation between a group of Jewish and Muslim women attracted a large, unruly crowd, forcing police to close the area again.
A surge in violence in the West Bank over the past several weeks has raised concern in Israel that a new Palestinian uprising could erupt. Tension is rising before a visit by US President Barack Obama to Jerusalem and Ramallah at the end of the month and the possible re-start of stalled peace talks.