Weeks of protests in Jerusalem, where Palestinians are resisting an effort by Israeli settlers to force them from their homes, and challenging Israeli police restrictions on their freedom to worship at Al Aqsa Mosque, spiraled into armed conflict on Monday, as Israeli airstrikes on Gaza killed 24 Palestinians, nine of them children, health officials said, after Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets into Israel.
The rockets fired from Gaza, seven of which reportedly reached the outskirts of Jerusalem but caused no serious casualties, came hours after Israeli police had entered the Aqsa mosque compound on Monday morning, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at Palestinian protesters defending the site with rocks and fireworks.
At one point during the daylong battle inside the compound, a large tree caught fire near the mosque, with conflicting reports as to which side was to blame.
One of the beautiful cypress trees outside al-Aqsa mosque caught fire. Police say it’s from from fireworks ▻https://t.co/VzWHmkIc5w