220416 Al Aqsa Mosque
Palestinian Muslim worshippers protest following Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque complex, on April 15, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Washington: The United States said Friday it was “deeply concerned” after more than 150 people were wounded in clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The clashes come after three weeks of deadly violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank, and as the Jewish festival of Passover and Christian Easter overlap with Ramadan.

“We call on all sides to exercise restraint (and) avoid provocative actions and rhetoric,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“We urge Palestinian and Israeli officials to work cooperatively to lower tensions and ensure the safety of everyone.”

Israeli police said dozens of masked men marched into Al-Aqsa setting off fireworks before crowds hurled stones towards the Western Wall — considered the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Al-Aqsa is Islam’s third-holiest site. Jews refer to it as the Temple Mount, referencing two temples said to have stood there in antiquity.