Israeli riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades at al Aqsa mosque during clashes between Palestinian worshippers early Wednesday morning.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, twelve Palestinians were injured and many were taken into custody. Police beating Palestinians is captured on video from the mosque.
After several hundred Palestinians had remained at the mosque on Tuesday night for Ramadan prayers, the incident took place.
Israeli police claim they attempted to remove them peacefully, but a small group refused and were armed with fireworks as well as rocks.
Israeli police claimed that they entered the mosque after several law-breaking youths had brought sticks, stones and fireworks to disrupt it.
According to police, the youths shouted violent slogans and locked their front doors.
Police stated that they were forced to enter the compound after making many unsuccessful attempts to get them to leave.
Police footage showed repeated fireworks explosions inside the mosque.
One officer sustained a leg injury, and dozens were taken into custody.
Both Jordan and Egypt were involved in peace negotiations to maintain calm during Ramadan. They issued strong condemnations of the Israeli police actions.
Nine rockets were fired by Hamas from Gaza Strip, setting off sirens in nearby Israeli towns.
Iron Dome’s defense system in Israel intercepted a number of the missiles, but others fell in open areas. According to the local council of Sderot, a factory was attacked but no injuries were reported.
A separate incident saw a Palestinian teenager injured when police opened fire upon a group of people in Silwan, east Jerusalem.
According to police, he attempted to open the security vehicle’s door and throw a Molotov Cocktail inside. According to reports, the teenager is in stable condition.
The Jewish festival of Passover was just beginning when the clashes at Jerusalem’s al Aqsa compound were reported. A small group of Jewish activists attempt to slaughter a goat every year in an area called Haram al Sharif by Muslims. This is also known as Temple Mount, which is the holiest place in Judaism.
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Even though Israeli police prevent the massacre from happening, it increases tensions amongst Palestinians who fear that it will threaten the fragile status quo which allows Jews to visit the site, but not pray there.
Israel and the occupied Palestinian West Bank have been experiencing some of the most violent years in decades. However, despite concerns that violence could spiral outof control, the Muslim holy month Ramadan has been relatively peaceful until now.
For the second consecutive year, tensions in Jerusalem have been high due to the coincidence of Ramadan & Passover. This will continue for the next few days.