Clashes at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque Injured over 150 Palestinians

More than 150 Palestinians received injuries after Israeli police entered the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem before dawn on Friday as thousands of Palestinians were gathered to perform Friday prayers, setting off a series of clashes.

Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Israeli police raided the mosque compound as thousands of people, many of them elderly, women and children, were attending the early morning prayers.

“The riot caused panic among the worshipers, and they rushed to seek safety from the police rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas,” WAFA added.

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said it evacuated more than 150 wounded people to hospitals. A guard at the site was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet, it said.

The Israeli army said its forces entered to remove rocks and stones that had been gathered in anticipation of violence.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Ministry in a series of tweets said that dozens of masked men carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags had marched to the compound early Friday and gathered stones.

“Police were forced to enter the grounds to disperse the crowd and remove the stones and rocks, in order to prevent further violence,” said the ministry. 

Following this morning’s violent events, the Israeli Police said it “will continue to allow and support the freedom of worship on the Second Friday of Ramadan.”

The ministry appealed to the worshipers to maintain peaceful and calm services. 

Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City is considered a sacred place to both (Jews and Muslims), and has often been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian unrest.

Last Friday, an estimated 80,000 people attended the first Ramadan Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in a peaceful environment. 

Editors Note: This bulletin has been updated with thee most current casualty figures


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