Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A large group of Israeli settlers stormed the compound of al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem (al-Quds) on Thursday morning amid rising acts of violence committed by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people, a report said.
In an unauthorized move, a total of 182 Israeli settlers entered the mosque compound, guarded by Israeli police, Firas al-Dibs, a media official in Jerusalem's Islamic Endowments Department (Waqf), said in a statement, Anadolu news agency reported.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called for a "Day of Rage" to protest against new security measures introduced by Israel at a site in the Old City of Jerusalem (al-Quds).
The call follows the implementation of metal detectors and turnstiles at the entrance of the al-Aqsa compound after a deadly shootout there on Friday.
In that incident, three Palestinians and two Israeli security officers were killed.
Tensions have soared since Friday.
The Red Cross said on Tuesday that at least 50 Palestinians were wounded in overnight clashes with Israeli police remaining near the sacred site, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.
At least four paramedics were injured, and 15 others were hit by rubber bullets, the charity said.
Clashes also broke out on Tuesday evening after Israeli security forces used sound bombs and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of worshippers near Lion’s gate in occupied Jerusalem after evening prayers.
A number of Palestinians suffered rubber bullet injuries, including former Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Ikrima Sabri.
The Fatah and Islamic Jihad movements have also called for protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the new security measures.
Fatah is calling for Friday prayers to be conducted in public squares in Palestinian cities to denounce the "terrorist procedures" by Israel in occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinians have already been performing prayers outside the compound in protest, since it was reopened on Sunday after a two-day closure.
Jerusalem Grand Mufti Mohammed Ahmed Hussein criticized the new measures as altering the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the site and permits Jews to visit but not pray there.
In a statement, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that Israeli forces removed worshippers at Lions' Gate for allegedly blocking the street while performing prayers.
The Palestinians fear Israel is trying to retake control of the site by stealth.
The site houses al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina.
After Friday's alleged attack, Israel closed off the area, preventing Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time in decades.