World Bulletin/News Desk
Israeli police on Monday detained four Palestinians in East Jerusalem for allegedly hurling rocks at security forces.
The police said in a statement that the four had been arrested for throwing stones at police after leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to Israeli Army Radio, two young boys were among the four detainees.
Earlier Monday, Israeli police detained a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in East Jerusalem on claims that he had attempted to "throw a stone" at a train.
Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch recently vowed to crack down on Palestinians caught throwing stones at Israeli settlers and trains in Jerusalem.
'There is no occupation in Gaza'
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was not occupying the Gaza Strip, adding that Israel would uphold the "status quo" at East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
"Israel left every centimeter of Gaza, every inch," Netanyahu said at a Monday joint press conference with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
"We pulled out the settlements and cleared out the residents, so there is no occupation in Gaza," he added.
Netanyahu attributed a recent bout of violence between Israel and Palestinian resistance group Hamas to "rocket fire" from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
"The rocket attacks broke the neutrality of the U.N. when they [Hamas fighters] used their spaces and their schools," the Israeli premier claimed.
Netanyahu went on to say that Israel was obliged to uphold the current status quo at the "Temple Mount," upon which the Al-Aqsa Mosque is situated.
On Monday, clashes broke out inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Muslim youth and Israeli police after the latter stormed the holy site and tried to forcibly evict Palestinian worshippers from the area.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – usually accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into the holy site.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians, for their part, continue to demand the establishment of an independent state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem – currently occupied by Israel – as its capital.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ekim 2014, 22:02