JERUSALEM, Friday, April 29, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli police dawn Friday cracked down on Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and injured 42, according to WAFA correspondent.
She said that heavily-armed police stormed the mosque compound via the heavily-guarded Bab al-Maghariba Gate, occupied the rooftops of several buildings and fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards the worshippers, injuring 42.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said that its medics provided treatment to 42 people, mostly with upper-body injuries, and transferred 22 of them to al-Makassed Hospital.
It confirmed that police initially denied medics access into the compound and brutally assaulted a medic, inflicting bruises across his body.
The Israeli occupation authorities have beefed up police deployments in Jerusalem with some 3,000 officers ahead of Ramadan’s last Friday prayers.
Police have tightened restrictions on Palestinians flocking from the West Bank into Jerusalem via the checkpoints, including the permanently-staffed Qalandia and Checkpoint 300, north and south of the occupied city, to offer their last Friday prayers of the holy month.
Israel severely restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement through a complex combination of approximately 100 fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, settler-only roads, various other physical obstructions and the 70-kilometre-long apartheid wall.
The past Fridays of Ramadan saw violent confrontations between Palestinians and police reminiscent to 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.