Palestinian young men clash with Israeli riot policemen in a conflict following Friday prayers at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Feb. 7, 2014. (Xinhua File photo)
JERUSALEM, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli forces broke out on Sunday morning at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem after dozens of Israelis arrived at the holy site.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that police forces broke into the compound after "stones and chairs were thrown" by Muslim worshippers at the site.
A separate police statement said several Palestinians were arrested.
The violence erupted after the police allowed some 120 Israeli Jews to enter the site. Hundreds more were waiting at the Mughrabi Bridge, the entrance to the compound for non-Muslim visitors, before the clashes began.
It was the first time in three decades that the Israeli police allowed Jewish visitors into the flashpoint compound during the last days of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan when large numbers of Muslim worshippers gather at the site.
Allowing Jews to enter the compound coincided with Jerusalem Day, an annual Israeli commemoration of the reunification of Jerusalem after the 1967 war which falls on June 1 to June 2 in 2019.
The Islamic Hamas movement, the runner of the Gaza Strip, condemned the incident.
"The attack of worshippers by Israeli forces marks an escalation and a violation of holy sites," Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior spokesman for Hamas, said in a statement.
He warned that the move "will have consequences" and urged the international community to interfere to halt the escalation.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is holy to both Muslims and Jews. Under a long-held status quo, Jews are allowed to visit the site but not to pray there.
In recent years, ultra-nationalist Israeli Jews have been challenging the status quo, demanding the government increase the numbers of Jewish visitors to the site and allow prays.
Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis were high after a 16-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces near the West Bank separation wall on Friday while a Palestinian knifeman was shot dead in East Jerusalem's Old City after stabbing and injuring two Israelis.
Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War, along with the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It later annexed East Jerusalem and claimed it as part of its eternal and indivisible capital, in a move not recognized by most of the international community.
Palestinians, who make up more than a third of Jerusalem's population, consider East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.