Israeli police clash with worshippers at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

Israeli police clashed with Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque within the early hours of Wednesday, drawing a livid response from the Arab world.

The violence, which got here as Muslims have fun the holy month of Ramadan, and forward of the Jewish Passover pageant, was adopted by an change of fireside between Israel and Gaza, with Israeli forces bombing websites within the blockaded coastal strip after militants fired 10 rockets at Israel.

Israel’s navy mentioned 4 of the rockets launched from Gaza had been intercepted, 5 fell on empty terrain, and one landed close to a manufacturing facility. No accidents had been reported on account of the change.

The hilltop al-Aqsa compound, recognized to Jews because the Temple Mount, is the third holiest web site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism, and one of the delicate locations within the Israeli-Palestinian battle. Clashes there have touched off broader conflagrations up to now, together with an 11-day struggle between Israel and militants in Gaza two years in the past.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan all condemned the doorway of Israeli forces into the mosque, with Saudi Arabia denouncing it as a “blatant storming” and Egypt branding it a “harmful escalation” that may undermine worldwide efforts to calm Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

Wednesday’s violence started after Israeli police tried to forcibly take away Palestinians who had barricaded themselves within the mosque in a single day to hope.

Police mentioned they’d arrested 350 individuals who had been hurling fireworks and stones, after “many steady makes an attempt to take away the people from the mosque utilizing dialogue failed”.

Nonetheless, Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of committing a “main crime towards worshippers”. “Praying within the al-Aqsa Mosque is just not [something we do] with the permission of the occupation, however relatively it’s our proper,” he mentioned.

Footage on social media appeared to indicate fireworks exploding within the mosque, and police beating folks with batons and rifle butts. The Palestinian Pink Crescent mentioned 12 folks had been injured within the clashes, with three taken to hospital for remedy.

The clashes in Jerusalem come amid a surge in violence within the occupied West Financial institution, sparking fears that the long-simmering Israeli-Palestinian battle could possibly be on the verge of a broader escalation.

Up to now 12 months, Israeli forces have killed greater than 250 Palestinians within the West Financial institution, whereas Palestinians have killed greater than 40 Israelis.

Israel has occupied each the West Financial institution and East Jerusalem, together with the Outdated Metropolis the place the al-Aqsa compound is situated, since 1967.

Beneath the so-called established order settlement, each Muslims and non-Muslims can go to the positioning, however solely Muslims are allowed to hope there. Nonetheless, in recent times Jewish teams have begun to hope on the web site, stoking fears amongst Muslims that the established order is being undermined.

In latest weeks these fears have been exacerbated by calls from Jewish ultranationalists to hold out the ritual slaughter of a goat within the compound on the feast of Passover, in a revival of an historical apply.

Israel prohibits such sacrifices, and in latest days, the police have arrested and questioned individuals who had referred to as for goats to be delivered to the positioning. Police mentioned on Wednesday morning that “there isn’t a change within the present conduct on the Temple Mount and the holy locations”.

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