Al Aqsa Mosque: Dozens of Palestinians injured as Israeli forces enter compound

More than 40 people were treated by medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society on the last Friday of Ramadan

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Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Friday in confrontations with Israeli security forces at Al Aqsa Mosque compound, as worshippers gathered at the Jerusalem holy site for the final Friday of Ramadan.

More than 40 people were treated by medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society at Al Aqsa, where security forces used rubber bullets and stun grenades.

Israeli police said officers “were forced to enter” the compound to disperse “rioters” who were throwing stones and fireworks.

No injuries were reported among the heavily armed officers.

The latest incidents at Al Aqsa follow sporadic violence at the site throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Medics have treated hundreds of injuries this month at Al Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam, which is known as Temple Mount to Jews.

The violence raises the spectre of a wider conflict breaking out between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

More than 1,000 Palestinians and dozens of Israeli police officers were wounded in and around Jerusalem’s Old City last year in the weeks preceding the May war between Israel and Gaza.

This month there has been renewed rocket fire from Gaza militants and retaliatory Israeli strikes on the coastal Palestinian enclave.

Israel has faced international pressure over recent events in Jerusalem from countries including the UAE and Jordan, the custodian of Al Aqsa Mosque.

In addition to the use of force at the holy site, critics denounced visits to the plaza by Jews who celebrated the Passover holiday this month.

Jews are allowed to enter the compound but are not permitted to pray there or enter the mosque, and their visits have been stopped for the final days of Ramadan.

Police earlier this month prevented far-right Israelis from carrying out a rally through the Old City’s Damascus Gate, which is used by Palestinians to reach Al Aqsa.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said his government is committed to allow Muslim prayers at Al Aqsa and preventing Jewish worship at the site.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem and its Old City since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Deadly violence raged across Israel and the occupied West Bank recently, although fewer people were hurt in East Jerusalem this month compared with last Ramadan.

Fourteen people were killed in four attacks in Israeli cities since March 22, which were carried out by Arab-Israelis or Palestinians from the West Bank.

At least 20 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank over the past month.

Updated: April 29, 2022, 12:41 PM
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