Israeli forces stormed Jerusalem's holiest shrine today, firing stun grenades to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in a fresh eruption of violence in the country's most volatile spot. A wall of Israeli riot police behind plexiglass shields sent many protesters—overwhelmingly young men—running for cover into the black-domed al-Aqsa mosque.
After several rounds of clashes, dozens of protesters were still holed up inside the mosque at midafternoon, occasionally opening shuttered doors to throw objects at police. The Israeli forces did not enter the building and police said they had no plans to do so. There were no serious injuries. A visit in 2000 by Ariel Sharon, then an Israeli opposition leader, ignited deadly clashes that engulfed Israel and the Palestinian territories for several years.