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Israel soldiers attack, hospitalise Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian youths who gathered at Damascus Gate, to force them to leave following the late-night Taraweeh prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israel soldiers last night raided Damascus Gate, one of the gates in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, for the second night in a row, detained 13 Palestinians and injured 20 others.

According to a Wafa correspondent, Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian youths who gathered at Damascus Gate, to force them to leave following the late-night Taraweeh prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Damascus Gate, which is one of the eight gates leading into the walled Old City that serves as a popular gathering spot for many Palestinians during Ramadan and other festivals, was cordoned off by Israeli forces last year, on the first day of Ramadan.

Palestinians customarily gather at the spot after breaking their fast, and to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

The attacks last night started after soldiers intensified their presence in the area, the correspondent added, and placed barriers on both sides of the Damascus Gate on the first day of Ramadan.

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Israeli soldiers harassed and detained 13 Palestinians, including an elderly man who sustained a head injury after being beaten by the soldiers, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

Four of the 19 Palestinians injured were rushed to hospitals while others were treated at the scene.

The attacks came after Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's appearance at Damascus Gate yesterday where he gave support to police reinforcements in the occupied area.

The Palestinian Authority condemned Lapid's visit, describing it "as part of the expansionist Zionist system which aims to restrict the freedoms of the Palestinians."

Criticising the fact that a senior Israeli minister "only recognises the need for Jewish holidays to be protected, while ignoring Muslim and Christian holidays," the PA noted that, "This is the apartheid system."

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