Israeli security forces enter Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and provoke violent clashes


Israeli security forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem before dawn on Friday as thousands of Palestinians gathered for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, sparking clashes that doctors say , injured at least 117 Palestinians.

Israel said its forces entered to remove rocks and stones that had been gathered in anticipation of the violence. The holy site, which is sacred to Jews and Muslims, has often been the epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian unrest, and tensions have already escalated amid a recent spate of violence. Clashes at the site last year helped spark an 11-day war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The clashes come at a particularly sensitive time. This year, Ramadan coincides with Passover, a major Jewish week-long holiday beginning on Friday at sundown, and Christian Holy Week, which culminates on Easter Sunday. The holiday is expected to draw tens of thousands of worshipers to Jerusalem’s Old City, home to major sites sacred to all three religions.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 15, 2022.
PA
Palestinians evacuate a man injured in clashes with Israeli security forces outside Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on April 15, 2022.
Palestinians evacuate a man injured in clashes with Israeli security forces outside Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 15, 2022.
PA

Videos circulating online showed Palestinians throwing rocks and fireworks and police firing tear gas and stun grenades at the sprawling esplanade surrounding the mosque. Others showed worshipers barricading themselves inside the mosque itself amid what appeared to be clouds of tear gas.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society emergency service said it treated 117 people, many of whom were injured by rubber bullets or stun grenades, or beaten with batons. Staffing said one of the guards at the site was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.

Israel Police said three officers were injured by “massive stone throwing,” and two were evacuated from the scene for treatment.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said dozens of masked men carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags marched towards the compound on Friday morning and picked up stones.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said dozens of masked men carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags marched towards the compound and picked up stones.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said dozens of masked men carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags marched towards the compound and picked up stones on April 15, 2022.
PA

“Police were forced into the field to disperse the crowd and remove stones and boulders, to prevent further violence,” he tweeted.

Police said they waited until the prayers were over and the crowd started to disperse. In a statement, he said crowds had begun throwing stones towards the Western Wall, a nearby Jewish holy site, forcing them to take action. They said they did not enter the mosque itself.

The Palestinians view any major police deployment in Al-Aqsa as a major provocation.

Israel’s National Security Minister Omer Barlev, who oversees the police force, said Israel had “no interest” in the violence at the holy site, but police were forced to confront ” violent elements” who confronted them with stones and metal bars.

A Palestinian protester waves the Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on April 15, 2022.
A Palestinian protester waves the Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 15, 2022.
PA

New York Post

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button