RAMALLAH, Friday, April 15, 2022 (WAFA) – The Presidency today called for urgent international intervention to prevent things from going out of control.
Presidential Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh regarded what is taking place at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Israeli police break-into al-Qibli prayer hall, a 1,000-year-old domed building, as “a serious development, an act of sacrilege, and it is tantamount to declaring war on our Palestinian people.”
“Immediate intervention by the international community is needed to halt this Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque and prevent things from going out of control,” he added.
Abu Rudeineh made his remarks heavily-armed Israeli police beat Palestinian worshippers in a storming of the main prayer hall inside the mosque, forcing them to lie face down.
Images of worshippers tied up and lying prone on al-Aqsa's carpeted prayer hall during the second Friday of Ramadan quickly went viral and caused uproar. Some footage circulated online showed Israeli forces beating the detainees.
Police fired teargas into the hall, smashed some of its windows and detained 400 people.
They used batons and tear gas to violently disperse hundreds of worshippers who gathered at the holy site before dawn for prayers and clear the mosque’s courtyards. Police were seen beating journalists, women and elderly people.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said that its medics provided treatment to over 153 people, including journalists and medics, mostly with upper-body injuries, and transferred some 30 others to nearby hospitals.
The current tensions are reminiscent of the 2021 Ramadan tensions and May violence over Israeli settler takeover of Palestinian property in Sheikh Jarrah and encroachments upon the mosque compound, culminating in Israeli onslaught on Gaza and large-scale protests among Palestinian citizens of Israel.
During the 2021 Ramadan month, Jerusalem saw protests and night-time confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers, with tensions mounting over the police decision to ban people from sitting on the stairs outside Bab al-Amoud under the guise of implementing the coronavirus restrictions, and its decision to disconnect the power supply to the call to prayer at the mosque compound.
The tensions further simmered following the forced expulsions of Palestinian families from their houses in Sheikh Jarrah.
For many Palestinians in Jerusalem and across the occupied Palestinian territory, Ramadan is directly connected to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is considered the third holiest site in Islam.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.