JERUSALEM, Friday, March 12, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces obstructed today the entry of hundreds of Palestinian worshipers into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site, in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem and detained five of them, according to witnesses.
Police also reportedly clashed with worshipers following Friday prayer at the Lions Gate area, on the east side of the holy site, and forced many of them out of the compound as they fired stun grenades to disperse them.
Incidents of beating and physical assault of worshipers by the Israeli police were also reported.
At least 321 worshipers who entered Jerusalem from the occupied West Bank for the weekly Friday prayer were also denied access to the holy site by the police, and were asked to return to the West Bank.
The Jordan-run Islamic Endowments Department, the custodian of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, estimated that around 20,000 worshipers were able to perform Friday prayer at the holy site in spite of Israeli restrictions.
Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem, where the compound is located, during the 1967 war in a move never recognized by the global community.