Israeli police units raided Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City early on Friday, 15 April during the holy month of Ramadan, with more than 150 Palestinians having been injured as a result, reported medics and witnesses.
Witnesses said elderly worshipers, women, and children were inside the mosque as the police fired tear gas and stun grenades.
More than 400 Palestinian worshipers were arrested by the Israeli occupation forces after Israeli police officers stormed the courtyards of the Mosque, including 18 children, before they were released later on the same day.
Israeli police said the clashes were as a response to injury caused Israeli officers from stone-throwing, and that they waited until prayers were over and the crowds started to disperse. Israeli police released a statement saying that crowds started hurling rocks in the direction of the Western Wall, a Jewish holy site, forcing them to act.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted that masked men carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags marched to the religious complex gathered stones.
Over the past weeks, tensions escalated across the West Bank, with Israeli authorities carrying out arrests and military raids in many areas in response to anti-occupation protests.
Residents took part in the weekly protest against Israeli illegal settlement construction following Friday prayer the past few weeks, which was met by Israeli attacks resulting in the injury of more than three Palestinians by rubber-coated rounds, while others suffered suffocation from inhalation of Israeli teargas, Palestinian news agency Wafa reports.
In the span of two months, Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians.
Al-Aqsa mosque has always stood as a point of contrition for Muslims and Jews alike, due to the religious and political significance of Jerusalem, which become a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation of Arab territories as the status of Jerusalem determines any future peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians