Palestinians have staged a rally in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to protest Israel’s decision to close the al-Aqsa Mosque, Press TV reports.
Scores of Palestinians on Sunday took part in the march to Qalandiya flashpoint checkpoint between Ramallah and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) to protest the Israeli decision.
The protesters said they would not allow Israel to desecrate Islam’s third holiest site.
“We are here today to send a clear message to the occupation that we will continue fighting and struggling against the Israeli escalation in Jerusalem and against the daily attacking in the al-Aqsa Mosque,” Esam Baker, a Palestinian activist said.
The Palestinians insisted that East al-Quds will always remain their capital, and they will always defend the city and the al-Aqsa Mosque by their flesh and blood. They also vowed to continue their demonstrations.
“We have always been stressing that East al-Quds is our capital and we will not be silent to any forms of attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque because what Israeli forces are carrying out are part of a war declared on the holy city. This is why rallies should continue to defend al-Aqsa Mosque from ongoing Israeli measures,” said Jamal Shehadeh, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
As the protesters started marching towards the checkpoint, Israeli soldiers fired teargas and stun grenades to disperse the participants. Clashes then erupted between Israeli soldiers and the protesters.
At least one Palestinian was wounded and many others suffered suffocation due to inhaling teargas.
The Israeli soldiers also forced journalists in the area not to continue covering the clashes.
Israel closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to Muslim worshippers on Thursday after a 32-year-old Palestinian, Moataz Hejazi, made an attempt on the life of Yehuda Glick, an American-born Israeli settler on October 29.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has vowed to fight Israel over the regime’s latest move to close the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to Palestinian worshippers.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian national unity government, has warned that Israel’s move amounts to a “declaration of war.”
The al-Aqsa compound, located in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint holy Islamic site. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia.