Israeli police said there were “hundreds of riotous protesters”. (Photo: Sky News)
More than 150 Palestinians have been injured in the deadliest violence in Jerusalem’s holy city in nearly a year.
This site sacred to Jews and Muslims is often the epicenter of unrest between Israel and Palestine, and tensions have been running high amid a recent wave of violence. Clashes at the site in 2021 sparked an 11-day war with Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip.
The clashes come at a particularly sensitive time. The holy month of Ramadan this year coincides with Passover, the most important Jewish week-long holiday that begins April 15 at sundown, and the Christian holy week, which culminates on Easter Sunday.
During these holidays, tens of thousands of worshipers are expected to enter Jerusalem’s Old City, home to major sites sacred to all three religions.
Hours after the clashes began, Israeli police said they had ended the violence and arrested hundreds of suspects. Mosque was reopened and about 60,000 people attended the main prayers at midday on April 15.
Palestinians threw rocks and fireworks, while Israeli police fired tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd around the mosque. A large group of Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque as they battled Israeli security forces.
Israeli police then stormed the mosque and arrested those inside. Israeli security forces rarely enter the building, and when they do, Palestinians see it as a major escalation.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Emergency Service said it had treated 152 people, many of whom were injured by rubber bullets or stun grenades, or beaten with batons.
According to Israeli police, three police officers were injured by “violent stone throwing,” and two were evacuated from the scene for treatment.
Tensions have been high in recent weeks following a series of Palestinian attacks that left 14 Israelis dead. Israel has carried out a wave of arrests and military operations throughout the occupied West Bank, sparking clashes with the Palestinians.
At least 25 Palestinians have been killed in the recent wave of violence, according to the Associated Press, many of whom carried out attacks or were involved in the clashes, but also a Unarmed women and a lawyer appear to have been mistakenly murdered.
Protests and clashes lasted for weeks in and around Al-Aqsa during the holy month of Ramadan in 2021, sparking the fourth war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas.
Clashes broke out after morning prayers. (Photo: Sky News)
Medical personnel evacuate an injured Palestinian man. (Photo: AP)
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