Three Waqf guards and 15 Jewish activists were arrested on Har HaBayis during Yerushalayim Day on Wednesday when scuffles broke out between the guards, police and Jewish marchers, The Times of Israel reported.
The Muslim guards responded angrily to Jewish national-religious teenagers carrying Israeli flags and singing the national anthem, and to Jewish tourists at the site.
Officers escorting a visiting Jewish group acted to remove them from the compound as Waqf guards began shouting at and trying to attack them, police said.
When officers stepped in to prevent a violent confrontation, Waqf personnel attacked the police. They then arrested three of the guards, an unusual occurrence.
The Jewish activists, many of them minors, were detained by police after they prostrated themselves in the Har HaBayis compound, defying official Israeli restrictions against Jewish acts of worship there.
Many leading poskim and the chief rabbis of Israel have stated repeatedly that it is halachically forbidden for Jews to enter the area.