Clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – more than 100 injured

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More than 150 injured in clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

Several injured in clashes near Al-Aqsa Mosque

Clashes took place between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem. Several people were injured.

More than 150 people have been injured in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount. The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is extremely tense.

AClashes between Israeli police and Palestinians erupted early Friday morning at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Red Crescent said 152 Palestinians were injured when Israeli security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets. According to media reports, three Israeli policemen were also injured. The Israeli news site Haaretz reported that after the clashes ended, police arrested dozens of Palestinians inside Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Growing tensions coincide with Muslim fasting month, Ramadan

Source: AP/Mahmoud Illean

Israel said security forces entered the mosque premises to remove stones believed to have been collected there in preparation for the violence. As a result, the violent confrontation erupted after the morning prayers ended. Rioters, some of whom, according to Israeli sources, carried flags of the Islamist movement Hamas, threw stones and fired firecrackers. About 100 rioters were among about 12,000 believers.

Videos circulating online showed Palestinians throwing rocks and police firing tear gas and stun grenades. Other footage showed worshipers barricading themselves inside the mosque amid apparent clouds of tear gas. Eyewitnesses and an AFP photographer reported that Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets at Palestinian protesters.

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Israel’s Foreign Ministry said dozens of hooded men carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags entered the compound on Friday morning and picked up stones. Police were forced to enter the site to disperse the crowd and remove stones to prevent further violence, the ministry tweeted.

Police said security forces waited for the prayers to end. The crowd started throwing stones at the Western Wall. So she had to intervene. Security forces did not enter the mosque itself. Three police officers were injured by stones.

Palestinians threw stones as Israeli police fired tear gas and stun grenades

Palestinians threw stones as Israeli police fired tear gas and stun grenades

Source: AP/Mahmoud Illean

The mosque is the third holiest place in Islam. It stands on a hill in the Old City of Jerusalem, which as the Temple Mount is the holiest site for Jews. There has been violence between Israelis and Palestinians there for decades, and the site was also at the center of the Palestinian Intifada from 2000 to 2005. Palestinians regard any major appearance by security forces at the mosque as a provocation.

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Israeli Foreign Minister Jair Lapid called Friday’s “riots” “unacceptable”. “The coincidence of Passover, Ramadan and Easter is a symbol of what we have in common,” he said. “We must not allow anyone to turn these holy days into a platform of hatred, incitement and violence.”

Islamist Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, condemned what it called “brutal attacks” by Israeli security forces against Al-Aqsa believers. Israel will have to bear “all the consequences”. Tensions between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have recently increased significantly after a series of Palestinian attacks in which 14 Israelis have been killed in recent weeks.

Tens of thousands of Muslims were expected in Jerusalem’s Old City for Friday prayers to pray on and around the Temple Mount during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The Passover holiday, which will also attract believers and visitors, also begins on Friday evening. The Ministry of Tourism expects a total of 30,000 foreign tourists this week alone.

Moreover, despite the wave of bloody terror, thousands of Christians want to re-enact Jesus’ Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem on Good Friday. A massive police presence is expected, especially in the old town. Last year, clashes around the Al-Aqsa Mosque led to days of heavy fighting between the hardline Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israeli security forces.

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