Israeli occupation authorities have imposed strict security measures on Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque, leading clashes to erupt on Wednesday with both Palestinians and Israelis wounded.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli police on Tuesday to “aggressively” deal with Palestinian “rioters” in Jerusalem. As a result, the on-going Palestinian protests in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem turned more violent on Wednesday morning.
The Israeli police banned all Palestinians under the age of 60 from entering into Al-Aqsa Mosque. At the same time, the police facilitated the entrance of dozens of Israeli settlers into the mosque, which is the third holiest place for about two billion Muslims around the world.
Witnesses and Palestinian sources in the Old City, including Samer Siam, a security guard in Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that the Palestinian worshipers prevented the entrance of the Israeli settlers into the mosque, but reported a number of Palestinians were wounded.
According to witnesses, the Israeli police then stormed the mosque and started evacuating the Palestinian worshipers. “It seems that they are planning to evacuate it in order to let the Israeli settlers inside without any clashes,” Siam said.
Have knowledge of the settlers’ plan to storm the mosque on Wednesday morning, Al-Aqsa Association for Waqf and Islamic Heritage said that hundreds of Palestinian worshipers had remained inside the mosque from Tuesday.
The association called for hundreds of more Palestinians from 48 Palestine and the occupied West Bank to travel to Jerusalem and stay inside Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to undermine any desecration attempt planned by the Israeli settlers during the Sukkot religious feasts.
Safa.ps contributed to this article