Sunday, November 29, 2020

Israeli police, right-wing politicians enter al-Aqsa compound

By Zuzana Brezinová - July 27, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [al-Aqsa] [Israeli army] [Qalandia Refugee Camp]

Worshipers in the Al Aqsa compound. Photo (archive) by Lazar Simeonov.

Israeli security forces entered the Al-Aqsa compound firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets during Muslim morning and afternoon prayers. No deaths were reported, but dozens of Palestinians, as well as four Israeli policemen, were injured in violent clashes that erupted afterwards.


Israeli police said in a statement issued shortly after the incident that security forces had attempted to, “clear the area of Palestinian protesters suspected of stockpiling fireworks and petrol bombs in preparation for a riot,” Al-Jazeera reported.


Palestinian media suggested that the riots were sparked by the Israeli forces breaking into the Al-Aqsa compound in order to allow access to groups of orthodox Jews who were visiting the compound later in the afternoon to commemorate the end of the Jewish holiday, Tisha B’Av, Wafa News Agency reported.


The Jordanian government strongly condemned Israel’s attacks on Muslim worshippers and its violation of the sanctity of the third holiest site in Islam, calling the event an act of provocation.


"The violation of the sacredness of Haram al Sharif or holy sanctuary, and the assault against its guards and the worshippers are a violation of the feelings of all Arabs and Muslims and are designed to ignite further hostility," said Jordanian Communication and State Affairs Minister’s spokesman Mohammad Momani in a statement published by Petra News Agency yesterday.


Momani also called on Israel to uphold its responsibilities as the occupying power in the area and prevent, “the recurrence of such vicious assaults against the sanctity of the site, its guards, and worshippers.”


The director general of Al-Aqsa affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib told the Middle East Monitor that over 20 Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated bullets and dozens others suffered from teargas inhalation.


Ma’an News Agency reported that 19 guards from the Islamic Endowment Department who were trying to prevent the Israeli troops from breaking into the compound were assaulted by soldiers and sustained moderate injuries.


According to the Al-Aqsa compound director, Omar Al-Qiswani, the Israeli troops entered through the Moroccan Gate and started to throw tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers.


After the clashes subsided, a group of 140 Jewish settlers marched into the Al-Aqsa area with Israeli Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel from the far-right Jewish Home party reportedly leading the way, Ma’an News Agency reported.


Israeli security officials at the Al-Aqsa compound have been on high alert since Thursday following an incident in which a female Jewish settler called the Prophet Mohammad “a pig”.


The defamatory statement captured on someone’s camera went viral on social media and sparked discontent among the Muslim worshippers, Al-Jazeera reported.


Recent shooting and killing incidents in the Occupied West Bank have further heightened the tension between Israelis and Palestinians.


Yesterday night, an Israeli security official shot a Palestinian youth, who was later identified as Muhammad Abu Latifa, during a raid on the Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah in a search for two terror suspects who were allegedly planning an attack in Israel.


An official statement issued by the Israeli police stated that the 18-year-old suffered fatal injuries after falling off a roof when he was trying to run away from the soldiers who allegedly shot him only once, hitting his feet, the Times of Israel reported.


However, Muhammad’s uncle, Jamal Abu Latifa, told Ma’an News Agency that Israeli soldiers detained his nephew while he was still alive, “shot him in the chest and then tied him with electricity wires.”


Last week, the Israeli security forces also shot and killed a 21-year-old Palestinian in Jenin and a 53-year-old Falah Hammad Abu Maria in the south of the West Bank, while he was defending his son.



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