Israeli forces resort to tear gas and use of force to disperse scores of Palestinians gathered in Jerusalem Al-Quds in defense of their holy Al-Aqsa mosque.
Palestinian worshippers, who were denied access to Al-Aqsa mosque, thronged in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood just outside the gates of the Old City after the weekly Friday prayers in protest at threats posed to the Muslims’ third holy site by right-wing Israelis.
The demonstration came amid tightened security and deployment of thousands of Israeli security forces to the city to prevent Muslims from entering to the holy site.
Israeli forces clashed with the protesters, as stone-hurling Palestinian youths responded to the soldiers, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and arrested two Palestinians.
Chasing the masked youths deeper into the neighborhood, Israeli forces found themselves beset from all sides by residents who threw stones, water and even chairs at them.
In the Gaza Strip, thousands of people on Friday took part in demonstrations called by leaders of the Islamic Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movements who had called for “a day of rage in Gaza and the West Bank.”
The call was echoed in the West Bank by the central committee of the Palestinian Fatah movement, urging Palestinians to stage a peaceful protest to proclaim their “attachment to their holy places and to Jerusalem Al-Quds as the eternal capital of the independent Palestinian state.”
The Fatah-run Palestinian Authority accused Tel Aviv of allowing ultra right Jewish extremists to enter the mosque compound, while denying access to Muslims, calling on the United Nations to intervene and prevent Israel from imposing provocative measures.