At least 67 people have been injured in a clash at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem
At least 67 people have been injured in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at Temple Mount. The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is very tense.
AClashes broke out between Israeli police and Palestinians in the early hours of Friday at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. At least 67 Palestinians were injured, paramedics said. Israel said security forces had entered the mosque premises to remove stones believed to have been stored in the mosque in preparation for the violence.
Violent clashes erupted after morning prayers, according to police. The rioters threw stones and exploded firecrackers. Of the approximately 12,000 believers, 100 were rebels. Videos circulating online show Palestinians throwing stones and police officers firing tear gas and bombs. Other images showed worshipers blocking themselves inside the mosque amid clouds of tear gas.
The German press agency quoted the Palestinian Red Cross as saying that 67 wounded had been taken to hospitals. According to the foundation, a rubber bullet was fired into the eye of one of the mosque’s guards. The AFP news agency said about 100 people were reported injured. The AFP news agency quoted the Palestinian Red Cross as saying that 90 people had been taken to hospitals.
Israeli police said about three of the wounded in their ranks. Dozens of men wearing veils with Palestinian and Hamas flags marched into the compound early Friday morning to collect stones, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. The ministry tweeted that police were forced to enter the site to disperse the crowd and remove stones to prevent further violence.
Police said security forces were waiting for the prayers to end. The crowd began throwing stones at the west wall. Then she had to intervene. Security forces did not enter the mosque. Three police officers were injured when stones were thrown at them.
The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. It is located on a hill in the city of Old Jerusalem, and Temple Mount is the most sacred place for the Jews. There has been violence between Israelis and Palestinians for decades, and the site was at the center of the Palestinian intifada from 2000 to 2005. Palestinians consider any major appearance of security forces in the mosque to be a provocation.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, has condemned what it calls “brutal attacks” by Israeli security forces on worshipers in al-Aqsa. Israel must bear “all consequences” for this. Tensions between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have recently risen significantly following a series of attacks by Palestinians that have killed 14 Israelis in the past few weeks.
During the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Muslims were expected to pray in and around the Temple Mount for Friday prayers in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Jewish Passover festival, which attracts believers and visitors, begins on Friday evening. The Ministry of Tourism expects a total of 30,000 foreign tourists to visit this week alone.
In addition, despite the bloody waves of terror, thousands of Christians want to repeat the Way of the Cross of Jesus in Jerusalem on Good Friday. A large police presence is expected, especially in the old city. Last year, clashes around the al-Aqsa Mosque led to several days of fierce fighting between radical Islamist Hamas and Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip.
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