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Erekat condemns Israeli assault of Palestinians at Al-Aqsa

Sept. 19, 2018 10:59 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 19, 2018 12:04 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Executive Committee, strongly condemned the treatment exhibited by Israeli forces and police towards Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday and performed religious Jewish prayers, while under the protection of Israeli forces and police, who assaulted several Muslim worshipers and staff members of the Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf), as well as detained several others while in the compound.

Medical sources confirmed that seven Palestinians suffered injuries on the back, chest and shoulders, due to the assault.

Erekat strongly criticized the handling of the incident and said in a tweet on his Twitter account, "Israel continues to brazenly violate the universal human rights/ freedoms with its attacks today against Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. A testament to its long record of violations and abuses of all international norms and above all human dignity."

The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf), which is in charge of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said in statement "Israeli police have been provoking Muslims and the Mosque guards since the morning, stopping them and checking and holding their identity cards."

The statement added that "The heavily armed police who were present in large numbers inside the walled compound attacked the guards and other worshippers to force them to leave an area Jewish fanatics, who were on a provocative tour of the holy compound, wanted to be in."

"The police violently and brutally attacked the guards and worshippers and forced them to leave the area for the benefit of the Jewish fanatics."

The department also demanded the immediate release of Palestinians, who were detained by Israeli forces in the compound, and warned that the "provocations from the police and Jewish fanatics at the Muslim holy place will not be tolerated."

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