Dozens of Palestinians hurt by Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem
Published: 08:40 PM, 8 May 2021 Updated: 10:12 PM, 8 May 2021
Israeli security forces advance amid clashes with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, Photo: AFP
At least 163 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police officers at the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
According to BBC, citing the Israeli police, they had to use “force to restore order due to the arson by thousands of worshippers after Iftar and evening prayers.
The clash took place at Al-Aqsa Mosque where Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades while Palestinians threw stones and bottles.
Immediately after the clashes, the Red Crescent opened a field hospital to treat the wounded. “88 injured Palestinians were taken to hospital after they were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets,” said Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Israel for the attack and said they must hold responsible for the sinful attacks.
An Aqsa official called for calm over the mosque’s loudspeakers. “Police must immediately stop firing stun grenades at worshippers, and the youth must calm down and be quiet!”, Reuters quoted him as saying.
Tensions have been rising over the potential eviction of Palestinians from land claimed by Jewish settlers. A US State Department spokeswoman said Washington was “deeply concerned about the heightened tensions”.
The Al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem is the Holy location for Muslims. The site is a frequent flashpoint for violence, which unfolded again on Friday night after thousands had gathered there to observe the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognized by the vast majority of the international community. Besides, Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their future capital of a hoped-for independent state.