Three Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed during an armed confrontation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound earlier today.
According to reports, four Israeli occupation soldiers were injured when Palestinians shot at them at around 7am. Two of the soldiers later died.
The soldiers returned fire and injured the three Palestinians, leaving them on the floor bleeding and refusing medics access to them, witnesses reported.
Witnesses told Ma’an that the Palestinians entered Lions’ Gate on a motorcycle and shot at the police officers at point-blank range, before heading towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s Gate of Remission – known in Arabic as Bab Al-Huttah – where Israeli forces shot them at close range.
Israeli police had closed off sections of the Old City, including blocking access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, was also prevented from entering Al-Aqsa.
He said this was the first time that Israel had prevented Muslims from performing Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa since 1969.
“We insist on reaching Al-Aqsa mosque and performing prayers there,” Hussein told Ma’an. “The occupation preventing us from praying marks an assault against our right to worship in this pure Islamic mosque.”