Palestinian Muslim worshipers and the Israeli police have fought at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque. Palestinians locked themselves inside the mosque on Wednesday, prompting Israeli riot police to assault the building and forcefully remove scores of worshipers.
Horrifying footage of police officers hitting Muslims with the butts of their rifles went viral online. As the Mosque is holy to Jews and Muslims, tensions have flared in the past, culminating in a violent 11-day fight between Israel and Hamas. Last week, Jewish extremists wanted a ceremonial goat killing on the eve of the Jewish Passover festival at the property.
Fears among Muslims that Israel is trying to take over the site have been exacerbated by radical demands to resume ritual killing and a monetary incentive for anybody who tries to smuggle an animal into the complex, despite Israel’s ban on the practice.
Realizing that permitting Jews to kill an animal on the Temple Mount would certainly cause demonstrations throughout neighboring Arab countries, Netanyahu has said that Israel wishes to “ease tensions” at the mosque. Meanwhile, he gave the green light for Israeli security forces to raid the mosque where several Palestinians had been holed since Tuesday night.
Palestinians, including women and children, threw stones and lit firecrackers in response to police using batons, chairs, and guns on them. Crowds of young men gathered at the mosque’s entrance, and police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse them.
At least fifty individuals were hurt, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Israeli police denied arresting 350 Palestinians because of claims and videos showing policemen abusing Palestinians.
A police officer suffered a leg injury. The Palestinian Authority condemned the assault as a breach that ‘may lead to a massive explosion’ in the occupied West Bank. The area south of Israel was hit by a volley of rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza, prompting the activation of air raid sirens.
Israel retaliated with airstrikes on Hamas’s arsenal and production facilities. Palestinian extremist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad issued calls for worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and the surrounding area to assemble and assault Israeli security troops.
According to the Israeli military, gunfire was heard coming from a Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank, and Palestinians opened fire on a checkpoint close to Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank. This year alone, 88 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli fire, while Palestinian assaults have killed 15 Israelis.