In the walled Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli police said a firebomb was thrown at a police post, damaging the structure in a sacred compound revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Israeli soldiers stand guard at the site of a reported stabbing attack in the West Bank city of Hebron, on March 12, 2019. But police quickly deployed across the hilltop compound, scuffling with Palestinians in the area, as they searched for the assailants.
He noted that the events that took place at the holy site are a serious violation to all global conventions, laws and norms, stressing the inviolability and sanctity of Al Aqsa of all Muslims.
All of the entrances to the Temple Mount were ordered closed following the attack to enable police to search for weapons.
Tensions at the Al-Aqsa compound have been rising for days over Israeli military infractions on the sensitive holy site.
Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as "residents" whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.
Mustafa Barghouthi, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, also condemned the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian worshippers.
However, the left-wing Israeli organisation Ir Amim criticised the reaction as "disproportionately harsh" and warned, "Continued use of excessive force or action deemed to undermine the status quo is extremely likely to ramp up tensions even further".
The statement called on the global community to break its silence and to promote its positions from condemnation throughout leaflets and statements to practical actions by the United Nations resolution.
High-level Israeli and Jordanian officials have been holding talks in the hope of defusing the situation.
Police have filed a request with Israeli courts for an order to re-close the building, but the court has reportedly delayed any decision to allow for more negotiations. The gate had been closed by Israel in 2003 because it said that a Hamas-linked organization had taken control of the site and was acting against the interests of the Jewish State.
The Palestinian Authority complained of a "dangerous Israeli escalation".
The Waqf has repeatedly challenged the closure, convening and staging prayer-protests in the area, which often erupted into clashes with police.