Israeli police attack Palestinian worshippers, close Al-Aqsa

JERUSALEM: A number of Muslim worshippers on Tuesday were assaulted and harassed by Israeli soldiers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Using the pretext of a fire at their post as the excuse, the Israeli forces attacked with batons dozens of Palestinian worshippers and evacuated the compound.

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As Palestinians and other worshipers arrived for the evening prayer, the baton-wielding police violently and aggressively pushed them away from the main gate, the Lion’s Gate (Bab al-Asbat), said residents who witnessed the brutality.

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“Dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed Al-Aqsa compound and assaulted a number of religious figures,” Firas Al Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites, said in a statement.

As per reports, a A funeral procession entering Al-Aqsa mosque compound was barred and was attacked by Israeli police.

The compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and a focus of Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

Recent weeks have seen scuffles over a side building at the Bab al-Rahma gate, also known as the Golden Gate.

The closer of Bab al-Asbat means all gates to the holy site were closed, restricting Palestinian Muslims’ freedom of worship.

Noteworthy, Bab al-Asbat and Bab al-Rhama prayer area was closed by Israeli authorities 16 years ago, and was re-opened three weeks ago by Palestinians.

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