Israeli police arrested more than 350 people after clashes erupted inside Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque early Wednesday when officers entered to dislodge “agitators” in a move denounced by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
Palestinian militants responded with rocket fire into Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, prompting retaliatory Israeli air strikes.
The violence came with tensions high in annexed east Jerusalem as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincides with the Jewish Passover holiday.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, called on Palestinians in the West Bank “to go en masse to the Al-Aqsa mosque to defend it”.
Israeli police said they had entered the mosque to dislodge “agitators” who had barricaded themselves inside with fireworks, sticks and stones, making more than 350 arrests.