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Israeli forces storm al-Aqsa Mosque, clash with worshippers

Aug. 4, 2014 5:05 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 5, 2014 1:19 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Clashes broke out in the squares of al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem Monday morning between worshipers and Israeli officers who stormed the compound to evacuate worshipers and escort right-wing Jews commemorating the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that special Israeli forces stormed the compound from the Moroccan gate firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at worshipers, the majority of whom were elderly people.

Young worshipers, who entered the compound Sunday evening and stayed over, took shelter inside the al-Aqsa mosque and shut down all its doors except the Funeral gate. They found themselves clashing face-to-face with Israeli officers who tried to raid the mosque. Witnesses said the Israeli officers fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades inside the mosque and as a result, a fire broke out on a carpet before guards managed to put it out.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and police officers stationed on the main gates of the compound denied Palestinians entry.

Dr Ziad Abu Srour, who runs clinics inside the compound, told Ma’an that as of 9 a.m. more than 10 Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades. Most of the injured, he said, were hit in the head and neck.

Two of the compound’s guards, Haytham al-Nimari and Rajaee al-Tarhi, were also injured.

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