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Zionist forces clash with Palestinian worshipers in al-Quds

Zionist forces have for the third consecutive night clashed with Palestinian worshipers outside one of the gates leading to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

The scuffles took place at Bab al-Amoud (Damascus) Gate overnight into Sunday, as the Israeli forces tried to prevent the Palestinians from holding their usual prayers during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The regime forces attacked the worshipers using teargas canisters, stun grenades and foul-smelling water cannons.

They also physically assaulted some of the Palestinians while attempting to forcefully evacuate them from the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In response, the Palestinians threw rocks at the Israeli forces and burned tires.

No serious injuries were reported, but at least one worshiper was arrested, according to Wafa news agency.

“The police are causing the problems. People want to sit down here at Damascus Gate in Ramadan,” said Fares, a young Palestinian from East Jerusalem al-Quds.

“Everywhere else is closed because of the coronavirus, everybody is at home. Damascus Gate is very important to Palestinians, it’s in the name and it’s the way to our holy places.”

Across the West Bank, Palestinians held protests in solidarity with the al-Quds residents.

Israeli forces launched a crackdown on the demonstrations, leading to clashes in the cities of al-Khalil (Hebron) and Tulkarm as well as the town of al-Ram and al-Quds at-Tur neighborhood.

In Jenin north of the West Bank, a child was injured by live Israeli gunshots at al-Jalama military checkpoint.

Additionally in Deir Sharaf west of the city of Nablus, several cases of injury from tear gas inhalation  were reported.

Solidarity protests also took place in the Gaza Strip along the fence separating the Israeli-blockaded enclave from the occupied territories.

Palestinians chant slogans as they burn tires during a rally in support of demonstrators in Jerusalem al-Quds, in Gaza City on April 24, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Gaza tensions

On Saturday evening, a rocket fired from Gaza landed near a place of gathering for Israeli troops in the community of Kibbutz Nirim east of southern Gaza, causing alert sirens to go off.

Between Friday and Saturday, Gaza resistance fighters launched almost 40 rockets into the occupied lands.

Only seven of the rockets were intercepted by Israel, whose tanks and warplanes targeted Gaza.

Israeli army chief of staff Aviv Kohavi held a security assessment meeting with senior officers as well as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, minister of military affairs Benny Gantz and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, among others.

After the meeting, Gantz warned that Gaza “will be seriously hit” if rocket fire resumes.

“At the moment there is calm in the south, but if the calm is not maintained, Gaza will be seriously hit… and those responsible will be the leaders of Hamas,” he said in a statement, adding that the Israeli military “is prepared for the possibility of an escalation and will do what is necessary so the calm is preserved.”

Similarly, Netanyahu said that he had instructed security chiefs in the meeting to prepare for all scenarios with Gaza.

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