Israeli forces attack Muslim worshipers in al-Aqsa Mosque, injure 80 Palestinians

Israeli forces have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds in a move condemned as “provocative” amid international efforts to de-escalate tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Eighty Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces stormed al-Aqsa Mosque after noonday prayers on Friday and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at worshipers.

The Israeli troops also arrested a number of young people, some of them wounded, at Bab al-Asbat (Lions’ Gate) during the raid, and prevented medical staff from attending to the wounded.

The Palestinian presidency condemned the Israeli regime’s storming of al-Aqsa and its attack on the worshipers as an “unacceptable provocation.” It also urged the international community to exert pressure on Israel to stop its violations and attacks on Muslim holy sites.

Jordan, the official custodian of Muslim and Christian sites in al-Quds, also denounced Israel’s storming of al-Aqsa.

Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Daifallah al-Fayez said in a statement on Friday that the storming was “a condemned and unacceptable provocative act” that defies the international efforts that were made over the past days to put an end to violence and escalation in Jerusalem al-Quds and the occupied Palestinian territories, and to stop the aggression on Gaza.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire went into effect in Gaza at 2 am on Friday after 11 days of Israeli aggression.

Israeli forces stand guard next to detained Palestinians at the entrance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds, on May 21, 2021, after new clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces. (Photo by AFP)

Friday also saw several protests across the occupied West Bank in support of al-Quds and the victims of Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip.

In Ni’lin Village, Israeli forces suppressed a rally using tear gas and sound bombs, leaving tens of people suffering breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas. Tens of cases of breathing difficulty were also reported in the cities of Bethlehem and al-Khalil (Hebron) as Israeli forces attacked similar rallies there.

Israeli forces also used live ammunition and rubber bullets against the Palestinians who rallied in Tubas in support of their fellow countrymen in Jerusalem al-Quds, and arrested a young man after physically assaulting him.

Palestinians also continued their anti-settlement protests in several areas across the West Bank on Friday, including the village of Beit Dajan. Tens of breathing difficulty cases were reported in Beit Dajan, which is located east of Nablus, as anti-settlement protesters were met with force by the Israeli troops.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian was hit with live bullets during clashes in the village of Bita during a rally to protest against the establishment of a settlement outpost there.

In the village of Kafr Qaddum, three Palestinians were hit with rubber bullets and tens of others suffered breathing difficulties due to tear gas fired by Israeli forces at an anti-settlement protest.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

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