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Israeli soldiers kick Palestinian in the head in Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli occupation forces arrest five Palestinians near Al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on 7 January 2020. [Jerusalem Islamic Waqf /Handout/ Anadolu Agency]
Israeli occupation forces arrest five Palestinians near Al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on 7 January 2020. [Jerusalem Islamic Waqf /Handout/ Anadolu Agency]

Israeli soldiers have been caught on camera dragging a Palestinian man on the ground and kicking him in the head repeatedly. The incident happened on Tuesday night near Al-Rahma Gate in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The video shows three Israeli soldiers pushing the man to the ground in an attempt to handcuff him while onlookers are heard shouting, “leave him alone”. The victim of this brutality is seen trying to shield his head from the kicks.

Six Muslim worshippers at the mosque for the evening prayer were arrested on the grounds of causing disturbances in Jerusalem by shouting nationalist rhetoric at the police, according to Haaretz. Witnesses told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, however, that Israeli security forces provoked and attacked the worshippers at Al-Rahma Gate after storming inside the prayer area with their boots on. One woman was among the six Palestinians detained.

The assault took place near Bab Al-Rahma, one of the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where friction between Palestinian Muslim worshippers and Israeli security forces is more and more common. One of the issues in question is that, according to the Palestinians, the police are preventing them from bringing food into Al-Aqsa.

READ: 4 Palestinian women arrested at Al-Aqsa Mosque as Israel marks Hanukkah

According to the International Middle East Media Centre, the Islamic Waqf and Endowment Department condemned the attack, which is one of the dozens of similar violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the occupied city. It added that Israel is trying to close Bab Al-Rahma yet again, to allow Israeli colonial-settler groups to occupy it.

Haaretz reported that Israeli officials insist that they will take action to prevent disruptions of public order or the shouting of Palestinian nationalist rhetoric. “During the evening, a small number of worshippers in Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque compound] began shouting nationalist rhetoric at the police, forcing the police to disperse them and arrest six who were confronting them.”

Earlier in the evening, Israeli occupation forces arrested five Palestinians at the same location in Al-Aqsa Mosque without providing any reasons, Anadolu reported.

Al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy), a large hall that is part of the bigger Al-Dhahabi Gate (Golden Gate), was closed by the Israeli authorities in 2003 during the Second Intifada. In 2017, an Israeli court renewed the closure order.

However, in February last year, hundreds of Palestinian worshippers protested against the closure and entered Al-Rahma Gate, reopening it before praying there. Israel regards this as a violation of the status quo and has since escalated its harassment of Muslim worshippers and Al-Aqsa Mosque guards.

READ: Israel arrests 5 Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque

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