Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque have been attacked by Israeli security forces all morning as the regime marks Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. The occupied city was later formally annexed by Israel in a move which remains unrecognised by the international community.
Soldiers fired tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshippers, wounding hundreds. The Palestinians tried to respond by throwing stones at the heavily-armed troops in the Noble Sanctuary.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society has reported that at least 305 Palestinians were wounded during the Israeli raid on Al-Aqsa and the surrounding areas in the occupied Old City. Of these, 228 have been rushed to three hospitals where seven are said to be in a “critical” condition.
Palestinians at the compound have been left to clean up the debris after Israeli forces withdrew from the mosque grounds. Those who had been trapped inside were able to leave and prepare for prayers.
عمليات التنظيف مستمرة في المصلى القبلي استعداد لصللاة الظهر pic.twitter.com/8PTN67tRDg
— هنادي (@HanadiQH) May 10, 2021
According to Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, this was a “brutal raid” by the “Israeli occupation forces”.
Tensions have escalated in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Gaza throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid growing anger about the forced expulsion of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, whose homes are on land claimed by illegal Jewish settlers.
The Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, which includes the Dome of the Rock Mosque, is Islam’s third holiest site. Jordan has the legal responsibility of looking after Al-Aqsa, but the Israeli government has laid claim to the area, sponsoring violent attacks by right-wing extremists.
Israel’s brutal attacks have provoked condemnation across the world. A number of countries have called on the occupation state to respect and uphold international law.
At least 90 Palestinians were wounded on Saturday during an Israeli police crackdown on protesters outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Another 100 were injured yesterday when Israeli forces stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque after the dawn prayer.