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Israeli officers clash with worshipers in al-Aqsa

June 30, 2014 6:48 P.M. (Updated: July 1, 2014 3:45 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli officers assaulted five Palestinian women in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound while Israeli rightists were allowed to go inside.

Witnesses told Ma’an that more than 30 Israelis entered the compound via the Moroccan gate at around 8 a.m. and toured the compound for more than an hour.

Another Israeli group entered the compound before the first group left. The newcomers performed Jewish prayers near the Golden gate close to Muslim worshipers who started to shout “Allah akbar” before a heated argument broke out with the unwanted visitors and ended in fistfights.

In addition, supporters of two-right wing Jewish groups entered the compound and tried to take photos, but were confronted by female worshipers. In response, special Israeli forces assaulted one of the worshipers and forcibly took off her head scarf. When her brother tried to defend her, an Israeli officer hit the woman, according to witnesses.

Three other women were beaten, one of whom was evacuated to al-Maqasid hospital in Mount Olives suffering from a fractured finger.

Separately, Israeli officers detained a young man who studies at the al-Aqsa Mosque’s religious schools. Witnesses identified him as Khalil al-Abadi from al-Jadida village in northern Israel.

Director of the Jerusalem office of the Palestinian ministry of endowment Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib rejected the Israeli police description of entry of right-wing Israelis into al-Aqsa as visits.

“Visits occur from time to time, but not on a daily basis and in a provocative manner like what herds of settlers do.”

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