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Israeli forces, right-wingers storm Aqsa Mosque compound

July 26, 2015 10:04 A.M. (Updated: July 27, 2015 5:42 P.M.)
(MaanImages)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Sunday morning firing stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Muslim worshipers as they cleared way for right-wing Jews who were visiting the compound to mark a Jewish fast day, witnesses said.

Dozens of Palestinian worshipers were reportedly hit with rubber-coated bullets and suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, while Israeli police officers were reported to have attacked worshipers with pepper spray, rods and rifle butts.

At least three Palestinians were reportedly detained.

The officers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate, Chain Gate and Hutta Gate and clashed with worshipers, witnesses said, before Israeli soldiers then shut down the compound’s gates with chains.

Israeli soldiers also reportedly stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque itself and fired rubber-coated bullets inside the holy site. The compound's Palestinian security guards were assaulted and prevented from moving, witnesses said.

Israeli police claimed that they entered the mosque after "masked rioters" threw stones at them, "with the aim of preventing further injury to police."

Israeli media reported that four police officers were injured, with two moved to hospital for treatment.

As the clashes subsided, right-wing Jews began to make their way into the compound in groups via the Moroccan gate.

Israel's minister of agriculture, Uri Ariel, was reportedly among the right-wingers to tour the compound under heavy police escort. Ariel is a member of Naftali Bennett's ultra-right Jewish Home party.

(Islamic Endowment)

(MaanImages)

Israeli police said that a young Jewish man on Sunday attempted to enter while wearing phylacteries -- small leather boxes containing sacred texts worn by Orthodox men at prayer.

When told to remove them, the man resisted and grabbed hold of railings, biting a policeman who tried to remove him before he was arrested.

Sunday marked Tisha B'Av, an annual Jewish fast day that commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples. The fast day is considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar.

Earlier in the morning, Israeli forces imposed strict restrictions on entry of Palestinians Muslim worshipers into the compound.

Witnesses said that at dawn, Israeli officers allowed only women and men over the age of 50 to enter the compound. After 6:30 a.m. all Palestinians were reportedly denied entry.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has seen rising tensions in recent days, with Jewish organizations calling for the compound to be open to Jews for the week after Tisha B'Av and others seeking to celebrate unconfirmed reports that Israel is negotiating the reopening of the compound to non-Muslim worship.

At the end of June, International Crisis Group reported discussions between Israel and the Islamic Endowment that controls the mosque compound on allowing non-Muslim worship at the site, although the move has not yet been confirmed.

The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

Following Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has maintained an agreement with the Islamic Endowment not to allow non-Muslim prayer in the area.

Jewish prayer is allowed at the neighboring Western Wall, which is the last remnant of the Second Temple.

However, Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to Al-Aqsa, leading to anger among Muslim worshipers.

The last time Israeli police entered the mosque itself, in November last year, Jordan -- one of the very few Arab states with diplomatic relations with Israel -- recalled its ambassador.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Islamic Endowment)

(Islamic Endowment)

(Islamic Endowment)
Comments
Jootoo / UK
Napoleon asked why the people were weeping and wanted to know what misfortune had happened here. The Jewish people had a custom to gather once a year, the day that marks the destruction of the Jewish people's Temple. Twice they built a magnificent Temple in Jerusalem and both were destroyed
26/07/2015 11:58
Phil / USA
Read up on the history on this site recently. How often do these right-wingers attack Palestinian worshippers versus the other way around? I have seen enough videos of people screaming Allahu Akbar at visitors, as well as experiencing it myself on the Temple Mount, that I am not impressed by Islam.
26/07/2015 15:13
Brian Cohen / Israel
Factual omission from the story is that the Israeli govt has barred Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, while the Waqf says clearly that it is an apartheid racist group and Jews are totally banned. The truth is that Palestine is a racist state with apartheid laws.
26/07/2015 15:45
Michael Levin / USA
Can't blame the Zionists. Blame the Muslim world for allowing this to happen, while they sit idol. shame on Them!
26/07/2015 16:02
Joe Fattal / USA
Israel frustration on Iran deal is taken on the Palestinians. The situation will get worse with the Palestinians.
26/07/2015 18:35
Joe Fattal / USA
The right-wingers did say earlier they going to do just that and with the Israeli forces to top it out. Its a low down, low blow on a place of worship. I am not inciting anything, but how long the Palestinians going to take that abuse.
26/07/2015 18:54
Joe Fattal / USA
@Jootoo / UK But who's problem is that. The Palestinians have nothing to do with your Jewish Temple been destroy. Israel wants to go back thousands of years ago and blame their misfortune to the Palestinians. A coward way to get at someone that hasn't nothing to do with it.
26/07/2015 19:58
No tolerance for paganism / Citizen of the world
May every pagan colonist be removed, the satanic victory mosques dismantled, and the galus of the Shechina ended. Amen.

Shame on the wicked Palestinians for their war against G-d! Shame on every Moslem for their sinful rebellion against His plan.
26/07/2015 20:21
This make believe tale about the first and second / temple needs to go. There is no such thing!
Al Aqsa has been around before the Ka'ba. The Ka'ba has been built by Abraham and his son Ismail. Abraham is the father of all religions meaning there was no Judaism before Abraham. So if Al Aqsa was around before Judaism, that means there is nothing under Al Aqsa that belongs to the jews!
26/07/2015 21:03
Binyamin / United States
Wait...how come there are no pictures of Right Wing Israelis entering the Mosque? The Israelis were praying and trying to get water from a water fountain on the Temple Mount...not inside a Mosque at any point. Muslims started rioting and the Police came in. Maan I no longer trust you.
27/07/2015 22:02
Soothsayer / UK
I encourage everyone to go and see what is really happening in Jerusalem and the occupied territories. Once there you will be left in no doubt that Israel is implementing a fanatically racist Zionist ideology that has no place in the 2st century, and daily abusing Palestinian human rights.
31/07/2015 12:01
ian / australia (1)
I agree, Jootoo. The Temples WERE destroyed, in 587BC by Nebuchadnezzar II and 70AD by Rome. Tisha B'Av is based on historical fact. But according to Torah, Josephus, Rambam, RaDaK, the Bordeaux pilgrim (who visited in 333AD) and Saint Luke they weren't located on the Aqsa. They were on the Ophel,
01/08/2015 01:03
ian / australia (2)
(contd.) over the Gihon Spring in Silwan. Furthermore, the veneration of the "Wailing Wall" was only a few hundred years old when Napoleon observed it, Jews of earlier times apparently understanding it to be part of the Roman garrison housing the Tenth Legion which razed Jerusalem to the ground.
01/08/2015 01:04
ian / australia (3)
(contd.) The fact the Western Wall WASN'T utterly destroyed is a good indication it had (and has) NO connection to the Temple which, along with the rest of Jerusalem, was.
01/08/2015 01:05
ian / australia (1)
Phil, right wing Jews visiting the (miscalled) Temple Mount are followed by (mostly) women shouting "Allahu akbar!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!" until they leave because Muslims clearly perceive the threat (and contempt) intended. (How would Jews respond to armed Palestinian visits to the kotel? Would they
01/08/2015 01:12
ian / australia (2)
(contd.) just placidly accept it?) But it only turns violent when the settlers (or their guards) are a particularly nasty variety and try to shut them up. The women may scream but they attack no-one. Take off the evangelical goggles, Phil. You're supporting the side Jesus loathed.
01/08/2015 01:15
ian / australia
I agree with Joe (posts #5-#7) (numbering would help, have I mentioned the new format sucks?) Having lost on Iran, Israel needs some violent Arabs to show how endangered it is in a sea of crazy Muslims. What better way to start recruiting than busting heads on the Haram ash-Sharif?
01/08/2015 02:40
ian / australia (1)
To Michael Levin. "Can't blame the zionists" Can't in Yahweh's name see why not, Michael. They're the ones approving thuggish displays of supremacism and hate and bringing weapons (forbidden by the Waqf) and firing stun grenades and tear gas and bashing Arab heads on the Noble Sanctuary.
02/08/2015 00:11
ian / australia (2)
(contd.) (What's Uri Ariel if not a Zionist?) And how exactly is it the inaction of the "Muslim world" "allowing this to happen"? How is the Ummah to blame for Israeli brutality? What realistically can Muslims do to halt the Zionist juggernaut if its black heart is set on abetting disorder on the Haram?
02/08/2015 00:12
ian / australia (1)
To post #8. "the galus of the Shechina" (!) Jeepers, at least you're upfront about your religious insanity but for Muslims the concept is absurd. How can G-d (swt) be more in one place than another? And how, if the entire earth has been made a masjid, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah
02/08/2015 00:13
ian / australia (2)
(contd.) be upon him) said, can the Divine Presence exist in a state of exile in it? And surely "pagan colonists" with "satanic" monuments to their "victory" (like the Mamilla Mall) better describes invading Zionists from Russia and Poland than the indigenous people they conquerered.
02/08/2015 00:14
ian / australia (1)
To post #9 ("this make believe tale") "...there is nothing under Al Aqsa that belongs to the jews!" I agree. Absolutely nothing but not so much for the reasons you give but because NEITHER the shrines or altars (whatever they looked like) of the pre-exilic, Yahweh-worshipping Canaanites NOR the
02/08/2015 00:15
ian / australia (2)
(contd.) Temple of Herod (whatever that looked like) were built there.
02/08/2015 00:18
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