At least 57 Palestinians injured as Israeli police raid Al-Aqsa mosque


Israeli security forces deploy inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex following clashes following clashes which broke out in the morning with Palestinian protesters, on April 22, 2022. Photo— AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP.
  • The surge of violence in Jerusalem has raised fears of a repeat of last year’s war between Israel and the Hamas movement.
  • Palestinians accuse Israel of restricting Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa – the third-holiest site in Islam.
  • Since March 22, Israeli forces have martyred at least 14 Palestinians.

JERUSALEM: At least 57 Palestinians were injured after Israeli police once again stormed Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday, as violence persisted by Israeli forces during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Reuters witnesses said police entered the compound after the morning Ramadan prayers and fired rubber-tipped bullets and stun grenades at a crowd, some of whom were throwing rocks. Police also used a drone to drop tear gas.

The surge of violence in Jerusalem has raised fears of a repeat of last year’s war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement ruling Gaza.

In what may presage wider conflict, Israel said two rockets were fired from Gaza, one falling short and another striking across the border without damage. It was the third such incident this week, breaking months of relative calm on the Gazan front.

Al-Aqsa sits atop the Old City plateau of East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move that has not received international recognition. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of their hoped-for future state.

Palestinians accuse Israel of restricting Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa – the third-holiest site in Islam – while not doing enough to enforce a long-standing ban on Jewish prayer at the compound. Israel denies this.

Israeli police said they intervened when hundreds of people hurled rocks and fireworks and drew close to the Western Wall, where Jewish worship was underway. A policewoman was injured by a stone and a tree was set alight by the fireworks, police said.

Hamas fighters “have their fingers on the rifle triggers, and we will defend Al-Aqsa mosque with all our might”, Hamas official Mushir al-Masri told a rally in northern Gaza.

No Palestinian faction claimed Friday’s rocket salvo.

Since March 22, 14 people have been killed in Israel, including three police officers, and Israeli forces have martyred at least 14 Palestinians, among them gunmen and civilians, in the occupied West Bank, medics said.

Ramadan coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover this year. That has brought more Muslim and Jewish visitors to the compound, which is a vestige of two ancient Jewish temples.

As in previous years, Israel halted Jewish visits during the final days of Ramadan, as of Friday, an Israeli official said.



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