JERUSALEM, June 26, 2016 (WAFA) – At least five worshipers were injured and four others detained by Israeli police, during clashes which erupted on Sunday morning after Jewish fanatics broke into the yards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, according to local sources.
Feras Debes, media coordinator of the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf, told WAFA that eight extremist Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli policemen broke into the compound through the Moroccan Gate, a practice which rarely occurs during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, provoking clashes with Muslim worshipers who attempted to compel them to leave the site.
Israeli police then, Debes added, attacked the worshipers with stun grenades rubber-coated bullets as well as physically assaulted many others, injuring at least five of them. The police also detained four worshipers, including three South Africans.
Following the clashes, the police also denied men under the age of 30 from entering the holy site for prayers.
Minister of Waqf and Islamic Affairs, Yousef Ede’es, condemned the Israeli offensive against the holy site, saying Israeli is seeking to enforce a status quo there by allowing Jewish fanatics and settlers to enter it, even in the last 10 days of Ramadan holy month.
Last year, tension ran high throughout the West Bank, including Jerusalem, against the backdrop of Israel’s repeated assaults on the mosque, including attempts to unilaterally enforce of a temporal division at the site between Muslims and Jews.
Prior to the unrest in October 2015, the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor pointed out, in a report, that Israeli incitement and violations against Arabs in Jerusalem have increased dramatically in 2015.
The report, titled “Fire under the Ashes: Provoking Muslims in Jerusalem,” warned that Israeli incitement against Muslims could trigger a conflict that would likely result in disastrous consequences.
“Among the provocative acts documented by Euro-Med researchers against Palestinians in Jerusalem were performance of Talmudic prayers near Muslim worshippers, beating, throwing rubbish, cursing, death threats and preventing worshippers from reaching the mosque,” the report said.