Israeli Police Attack Worshippers In Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque During Ramadan

Jerusalem: Dozens of Palestinian worshippers were injured after Israeli occupation forces raided the Al-Qibili prayer hall in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, early on Wednesday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said seven Palestinians sustained wounds from rubber-tipped bullets and beatings in clashes with Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. It added that Israeli forces were preventing its medics from reaching the mosque.

The incident sparked protests across the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military claimed they were responding to nine rockets that were fired from Gaza toward Israel after sirens blared in southern towns.

Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem has surged over the past year and there is concern that tensions could escalate this month, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincides with Judaism’s Passover and Christian Easter.

Israeli police said in a statement that it was forced to enter the compound after masked agitators locked themselves inside the mosque with fireworks, sticks and stones.

“When the police entered, stones were thrown at them and fireworks were fired from inside the mosque by a large group of agitators,” the statement said, adding that a police officer was wounded in the leg.

Friction at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has set off violence in recent years. Palestinian groups condemned Israel’s attacks on worshippers, which they described as a crime.

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