Israeli police clash with Palestinians across West Bank

Israeli police and Palestinians clashed on Sunday at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, where violence in recent weeks has raised international concern.Reuters

Fighting between Israeli police and Palestinians has broken out across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a result of ongoing tensions at Temple Mount.

Palestinians threw stones and petrol bombs at Israeli forces after Palestinian men under 50 were reportedly denied access to Temple Mount, which contains the al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites. The site, which lies in occupied Palestinian territory, has frequently been a flashpoint of violence because it is regarded as holy by both Jews and Muslims.

The recent fighting centred around the compound after more Israeli visitors than usual were expected to travel to the site for the Jewish festival of Sukkot.

Jamal Zahalka, from the Arab Joint List coalition, was at the Temple Mount complex on Tuesday to protest against the entry restrictions on Palestinian worshippers and visits to the site by some Jewish groups.

"We have no problem with Jewish visitors," Zahalka told Al Jazeera.

"We have a problem with groups that come to provoke Palestinians," he said, referring to some right-wing organisations and settler groups.

"It is in occupied territory and Palestinians have a right to defend their places of worship."

Palestinians in cities and villages across the West Bank went on strike to protest the restrictions and several violent riots broke out.

In Ramallah, 300 Palestinians took part in a march towards an Israeli settlement and approached a checkpoint, where they began hurling rocks at Israeli vehicles and soldiers, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Tens of thousands of Jews are expected to travel to Temple Mount on Wednesday morning for the Jewish Priestly Blessing which is held at the Western Wall of Temple Mount.

A spokesman for the Israel police said they "will leave nothing to chance" during the festival.