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Israel injures Palestinians marking 54 years since arson attack on Al-Aqsa

At least 18 Palestinians were injured in Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire and used tear gas on protesters gathered at the separation fence to mark the 54th anniversary of the 1969 arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque at the hands of extremist Australian Christian Dennis Michael Rohan.

August 22, 2023 at 9:28 am

Dozens of Palestinians injured as Israel takes aim at protests to mark the 1969 arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque by a Christian religious fundamentalist.

In the Gaza Strip, 15 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli occupation’s bullets as demonstrations were held along the fence separating the occupation state from the besieged enclave. Israeli forces fired tear gas and live bullets at the unarmed protesters.

The injured were transferred to Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City.

Local photojournalist, Muhammad Qandil, was rushed to hospital after being hit in the pelvis by a gas canister.

FACTSHEET: Remembering the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque

On 21 August 1969, Australian Christian tourist, Dennis Michael Rohan, set fire to the Al-Qibli Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Rohan was unafraid of revealing his motives for the crime; as “the Lord’s emissary”, he wanted to hasten the second coming of Jesus Christ which, in his view, could only be achieved by allowing the Jews to build a temple in place of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where it is claimed that the Temple of Solomon originally stood.

There was suspicion that Israel was actively involved in planning and facilitating the arson attempt which has never been disproved. Many also see the normalisation of Zionist intimidation, including Israel’s attempts to eradicate Palestinian heritage in the region, as the ultimate source of the mentality that led to this attack, and all others since.