Clashes between Zionist police and Palestinian youths erupted anew at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, after more officers and special forces deployed to the compound.
Zionist forces fired stun grenades, tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets in the vicinity of the compound, while Palestinian youths were seen throwing stones and setting fires with electrical wires near Al-Majlis Gate.
They also damaged some of the cameras which Zionist police use to monitor the inside of the compound, according to Ma’an’s correspondent, who was reporting live from the scene.
Hatim Abdul-Qadir, the former Palestinian Authority minister of Jerusalem affairs, said several worshippers were hurt as police officers raided the area, and that others suffered inhalation injuries from the tear gas.
According to Abdul-Qadir, 10 Palestinians were injured and more than 15 were detained. Zionist police reported that three officers were injured. One was evacuated to a hospital, an official said.
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, warned that the situation could escalate. He said Zionist forces assaulted worshippers indiscriminately, including women and mosque guards. Police were attempting to break into the mosque building and the Dome of the Rock, he said.
But Zionist police denied that their forces had entered the mosque, itself, although several were seen outside carrying ladders and crowbars after worshipers inside the mosque were told to leave. Police cut power to the mosque’s loudspeakers after they were used to urge Palestinians in Jerusalem to gather near the compound in solidarity with its besieged worshipers.
Confrontations also erupted outside the compound, where Zionist police clashed with students from Dar Al-Aytam school in the Old City after they marched and chanted “Allah Akbar.” One was reportedly detained.
Zionist police or military helicopters were seen flying over the Old City.
Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Knesset, accused Israel of trying to take control of the compound. He called on Arab and Islamic countries to unite to counter “[Benjamin] Netanyahu’s aggressive policies.”
According to Zionist media, the area was locked down after young men poured oil to make police officers slip in the event they raided the compound. Those reports mentioned the use of stun grenades, but not tear gas.
The Zionist daily newspaper Haaretz reported that youths hurled stones at Zionist forces, who subsequently stormed the compound. The newspaper also said one Molotov was tossed, causing no injuries. The same report added that about a dozen Palestinians were holed up in the compound’s mosque, and that they were the only ones not removed from the area before it was closed to Muslim worshipers.
Zionist forces did not, however, close the area to Jews. According to the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, “Jewish prayer at the holy site is continuing as usual.”
On Saturday evening, Muslim officials and institutions called on worshippers to prevent the entry of right-wing Zionist groups and individuals, who had announced their intentions to enter the area under armed guard. The Jerusalem Post, an English-language Zionist newspaper, reported that a religious group calling itself the “Temple Mount Organization” was calling on adherents to gather at the compound.