Israeli riot police engaged in a tense standoff with Palestinian protesters for several hours Sunday at Jerusalem's holiest shrine.

The standoff eventually ended when the protesters — mainly young men — dispersed before nightfall.

Earlier in the day, Israeli riot police fired stun grenades in a bid to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinians.Several people were arrested and the situation for a time was "volatile,"  the CBC's Irris Makler reported.

Police behind Plexiglas shields had closed in on the crowd, sending many protesters running for cover into the black-domed Al-Aqsa mosque.

While they remained inside, the protesters occasionally opening doors to throw objects at police.

Some injuries were reported. They include Makler who, after filing a report, was hit in the face by a stone and injured. She was taken to hospital and her injuries were treated.

The mosque is one part of the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The latest clashes were the most intense in the past month of unrest around the compound.

In recent weeks, tensions have stemmed largely from rumors of Israeli plans to allow Jews to pray at the site or to dig under the compound and harm the Muslim buildings there.

Israel has carried out numerous archaeological digs in nearby areas, but says the work does not threaten the compound. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago dismissed as "baseless" talk that Israel wants to sabotage Muslim holy sites.

The Associated Press