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Concern, criticism after Israel police storm Jerusalem mosque

Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinians pray in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque compound after officers earlier stormed the mosque's prayer hall
— Jerusalem (AFP)

Global criticism and concern mounted Wednesday after Israeli police clashed with Palestinians inside Islam's third-holiest site, sparking a military exchange of rockets and air strikes, with fears of further escalation.

Two more rockets were fired late Wednesday from the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip towards Israel, the army and witnesses said, and fresh altercations broke out at Al-Aqsa mosque during the Jewish Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Armed police in riot gear stormed the prayer hall of Al-Aqsa mosque before dawn Wednesday, aiming to dislodge "law-breaking youths and masked agitators" they said had barricaded themselves inside.

A barrage of rocks and fireworks met the officers, police video showed, and more than 350 people were arrested.

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