At least 117 Palestinians were injured after Israeli security forces on Friday raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, The Associated Press reported.

The security forces stormed into the compound when thousands of devotees had gathered for early morning prayers in Ramzan, considered to be a holy month in Islam.

The mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam, while its neighbourhood is home to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Last year, a similar raid by Israeli forces has resulted in 11-day violence that had left more than 240 people dead.

On Friday, Israel said its forces entered the mosque to remove rocks and stones that had been gathered in anticipation of violence. The country’s foreign ministry said dozens of masked men carrying flags of Palestine and its militant group Hamas had marched into the compound early morning.

Videos shared on social media platforms showed Palestinians throwing rocks and police firing tear gas and stun grenades. In some videos, devotees could be seen rushing inside the mosque to take cover from what appeared to be clouds of tear gas, according to Reuters.

“Police were forced to enter the grounds to disperse the crowd and remove the stones and rocks, in order to prevent further violence,” Israel’s foreign ministry said in a tweet. “The state of Israel will take all necessary action in order to ensure freedom of worship, and will not tolerate violence aimed at thwarting religious freedom.”

Tensions have been simmering in Jerusalem, with the Muslim month of Ramzan coinciding this year with the Jewish festival of Passover, Reuters reported.

At least 14 Israelis have died in four separate attacks by Palestinians in the last three weeks in Israel, according to The Washington Post. In counter operations, the Israeli security forces have killed six Palestinians in the West Bank.