Palestinian medics said that at least 31 people were injured in a clash after Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Friday.
Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Israeli forces entered the mosque ahead of Friday prayers, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians.
The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said that the injured people were evacuated to nearby hospitals while two are in serious condition.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that “hundreds of violent rioters,” some carrying Hamas flags, began throwing stones and setting off fireworks near the mosque compound.
“Despite the riots, police did not respond in order to enable worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque to complete the prayers,” the ministry said in a series of tweets.
“Al-Aqsa is in danger by a minority of Muslim extremists, backed by the terror groups, aiming to hijack prayers to generate violence,” the ministry added.
The ministry claimed that Israel will guarantee “freedom of worship and will not allow extremists to hijack” Jerusalem’s holy places.
“About 150,000 faithful, most of them Palestinians from Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Arab towns inside Israel, performed Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque after riots finished,” the WAFA added.
Tensions between Israel and Palestine have heightened since the start of March after Israeli forces have killed almost 30 Palestinians in raids on the West Bank, while 14 people have been killed in Israel in a series of deadly street attacks carried out by Palestinians.
© Fourth Estate
® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.