Violence erupts again at Al Aqsa mosque - GulfToday

Violence erupts again at Al Aqsa mosque


Israeli security forces remove Palestinian worshippers sitting on the grounds of the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. AFP

Violence resumed for a second straight night in Jerusalem on Wednesday when Palestinian worshippers barricaded themselves inside Al Aqsa mosque at the Old City’s sensitive compound and Israeli police used force to remove dozens of worshippers.

The unrest was less intense than the previous night. But the situation remained combustible as Muslims marked the Ramadan holy month and Jews began the weeklong Passover holiday.


Clashes as Israeli police enter Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque

UAE condemns Israeli police storming Al Aqsa mosque

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported at least six people were injured in the latest violence. The Islamic Waqf authorities, which manages the compound, said police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

Israeli security forces are seen in the Al Aqsa mosque compound. AFP

The Israeli police said that "dozens of law-breaking juveniles” had fomented chaos, throwing rocks and other objects at officers and compelling police to act to restore "security, law and order."

More Palestinians had gathered in the mosque, responding to calls by Waqf to pray inside overnight. At one of the mosque entrances, police officers could be seen escorting dozens of Palestinians out of the compound. Residents and shoppers milled around, watching social media videos on their phones showing the renewed clashes that had happened just meters away.

Early on Wednesday, Israeli police stormed the Al Aqsa mosque, firing stun grenades at Palestinians who hurled stones and firecrackers in a burst of violence during a sensitive holiday season. Palestinians in Gaza responded with rocket fire on southern Israel, prompting repeated Israeli airstrikes.

People carry a large Palestinian flag during a protest against an Israeli police raid in Istanbul, Turkey. AP

The violence had calmed by early Wednesday morning, but in the evening, Palestinian militants fired two more rockets from Gaza, with one falling short inside Gaza and the other falling near the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, the Israeli military said. There were no reports of casualties.

The mosque sits in a hilltop compound sacred to both Jews and Muslims, and conflicting claims over it have spilled into violence before, including a bloody 11-day war between Israel and Hamas. Al Aqsa is the third-holiest site in Islam and stands in a spot known to Jews as the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism.

Associated Press



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