Beefed-up Israel police clash with Palestinians in Jerusalem

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Saturday clashed with Palestinian protesters outside Jerusalem's Old City during the holiest night of Ramadan in a show of force that threatened to deepen the holy city's worst religious unrest in several years. Earlier, police blocked busloads of pilgrims headed to Jerusalem for prayer at Islam's third holiest site.

Police defended their actions as security moves, but these were seen as provocations by Muslims who accuse Israel of threatening their freedom of worship. Competing claims to east Jerusalem, home to major shrines of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have triggered serious violence in the past.