Jeruslem: Dozens of Palestinian worshippers were injured on the last Friday of Ramzan, by rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters, as the Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reported.
The Red Crescent Society Jerusalem said in a statement, “42 Palestinians were injured during the confrontations with the occupation forces in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and first aid was provided to some of them, and 22 injured were transferred to Al-Makassed Hospital.”
The Israeli forces prevented Red Crescent Society crew from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque at the beginning of the confrontations, and three of its members were bruised as a result of the assault by the occupation forces.
The Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque after dawn prayers from the Mughrabi Gate, torpedoing the roofs, and assaulting worshipers with sound and gas bombs, which led to injuries among their ranks.
The raid began around 6:30 am local time, shortly after worshipers staged a pro-Palestine demonstration in the Al-Aqsa courtyard after dawn prayers, a continuous tradition during this year’s Ramzan.
The incursion lasted for nearly an hour, during which Israeli forces tried to evacuate the courtyard of the mosque and arrested several Palestinians. Meanwhile, Palestinian youths barricaded themselves near the Qibla prayer hall in the southern part of the mosque. They threw stones and firecrackers at the police to stop their advance.
Tensions have been rising across the Palestinian territories since the beginning of April amid repeated arrested by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and settlers’ incursions into the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
This year, Ramzan coincided with the Jewish Passover and major Christian holidays, with tens of thousands of people from all three faiths flocking to Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israeli settlers stormed the Mosque’s courtyards, under police guard, on all days of the week, except for Friday and Saturday.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the six-day Arab-Israeli War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza.
More than 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank.