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.
Fire at building at al-Aqsa close to the Dome of the Rock used by Israel as an Occupation police post. Israel has completely shut al-Aqsa pic.twitter.com/i4EEOjEHrt
— Masjid al Aqsa (@firstqiblah) March 12, 2019
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.
“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.
— Amin Jarrar (@AminJarrar1) March 12, 2019
Look at this! pic.twitter.com/oDsiC51EyX
— Akai Shūichi 🇵🇸 (@PALESTINO_Pal) March 12, 2019
As per reports, a A funeral procession entering Al-Aqsa mosque compound was barred and was attacked by Israeli police.
— Jusoor for Int'l Communication (@JIC_PAL) March 12, 2019
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.