Israeli police breaking into Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam‘s third holiest site, in pursuit of worshippers who were hold up inside the building after the police raid of the Muslim compound in Jerusalem‘s Old City. (Photo special to WAFA)
JERUSALEM, July 27, 2018 (WAFA) – A large Israeli police force broke into Al-Haram Al-Sharif / Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem‘s Old City on Friday immediately after the noon prayer was over, forcing thousands of people of all ages caught by surprise by the police onslaught scrambling for safety, according to witnesses and officials.
Dozens were reported injured from concussion bombs thrown at random by police in the direction of people as they were trying to leave the compound, according to medical sources, who said most of the injuries were light and were treated at the location.
According to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, police broke into the mosque compound immediately after the Friday prayer was over and brutally attacked the worshippers of all ages with any probable reason causing several injuries.
He said a peaceful march was carried out in the mosque marking one year since Israel attempted to install metal detectors at the gates to the Muslim compound and which Israel was forced to remove following strong protests by thousands of people.
He said that the number of police in full riot gear who broke into mosque and the timing prove that Israel had prior intentions to attack the mosque, which is part of an overall Israeli plan to change the status quo in the Muslim holy place, particularly as more Jewish fanatics who call for its destruction are allowed to enter it every day.
"All that we see is happening to Al-Aqsa Mosque prove without doubt that there is a (Israeli) plan to take control over it and to turn it into a Jewish place," he said.
Witnesses said police fired concussion bombs in all directions at people who were trying to get out of the compound. They said the police closed the gates to the compound to prevent people from leaving and to make as much arrests as possible.
Police even closed the gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque building and the Dome of the Rock forcing worshippers to remain inside while at times tossing concussion bombs inside Al-Aqsa building.
Medics said 40 people were treated for either injury from the concussion bombs or rubber-coated metal bullets. None were serious.
Six people were reportedly detained.