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Israeli forces clash with worshipers in Aqsa compound, dozens hurt
Published Wednesday 16/04/2014 (updated) 17/04/2014 22:48
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Israeli riot police stand outside the Dome of the Rock mosque
during clashes with Palestinian stone-throwers (unseen) at
Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, on February 7, 2014
(AFP/File Ahmad Gharabli)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of worshipers were hurt Wednesday morning in fierce clashes with Israeli forces who stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound via the Moroccan and Chain gates.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers and police officers broke into the compound and deployed in the southern quarter firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at worshipers.

Director of al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Azam al-Kahtib told Ma’an that "about 1,000 Israeli officers stormed the compound." He highlighted that Israeli officers used live ammunition.

Special forces deployed at the main gates since dawn prayer, witnesses said, denying Palestinian worshipers entry to the compound.

Employees of the ministry of endowment and students who attend schools inside the compound were also denied entry. Only security guards were allowed in addition to men over 65 years old. Several people performed dawn prayer in the alleys near the gates.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Palestinians threw "stones and firecrackers" at police when they opened the walled compound's gates.

Police responded with stun grenades, Rosenfeld said, and closed the complex to Jewish visitors after a small number had toured the site.

About 100 Muslim worshipers have decided to stay inside the compound day and night after right-wing Jewish organizations urged Jews to flock to the compound which they believe is the site of a former temple and slaughter their Passover sacrifices inside.

Witnesses told Ma'an that the young volunteers foiled plans to tour the compound.

On Monday, police arrested five Jews suspected of intending to sacrifice a goat at the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, in a bid to reenact an ancient Passover ritual.

Jewish fringe groups have vowed to build a third Temple, but Israeli political and religious authorities have repeatedly dismissed the idea.

Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

A man holds a sign reading: "To the Zionists; you won't enter al-Aqsa except on
our blood and torn limbs."

AFP contributed to this report
1 ) Maisie / UK
16/04/2014 12:59
How bad does it have to become before other countries with predominantly Muslim populations object(we might as well forget about Western outrage) ? Where is Jordan on this??? Imagine the outrage should Vatican City be invaded by a bunch of fundamentalist nutcases protected by Italian armed forces. Perhaps this is part of the Zionazis masterplan to provoke another intifada in order to complete the ethnic cleansing. Of course, the West will express concern.

2 ) Is this a HOLIDAY / in ISLAM?
16/04/2014 14:13
why all the worshipers?

3 ) some one / some where
17/04/2014 00:18
1 ) Maisie / UK when in next ten years UK become a ISLAMIC country will talk now you talk good luck with ISLAMIC LAW and make sure your women is cover from head to foot

4 ) Sandra D'Andrade / Trinidad
17/04/2014 00:44
No this is not a holiday in Islam. Muslims go to mosque to perform daily prayers!

5 ) myra / canada
17/04/2014 01:32
Why Israeli forces storm this Muslim holy ground.I understand its under occupation but why go and storm in and keep Muslims from praying.storming in with such aggressiveness will not get you respect from Muslims. This will just escalate hate and more hate.common respect for each other brings peace. no respect brings war.

6 ) Outlier / USA
17/04/2014 02:02
"Worshipers?" Not hardly. Rather, provocateurs.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
17/04/2014 02:14
To Is #2: 'Is this a holiday in Islam?' Let's answer your question with a question. In Judaism, is Passover normally celebrated by storming mosques and trying to sacrifice a goat?

8 ) Willaim Wallace / Scotland
17/04/2014 14:38
"In Judaism, is Passover normally celebrated by storming mosques and trying to sacrifice a goat?" - Interesting question & scenario Colin. I wonder if Brian or other knowledgeable persons will post and tell us the answer.

9 ) Sam / Australia
17/04/2014 15:09
Actually if any of you twerps bother to read the Oslo Accords you'll find it's the Arabs who shouldn't be there. Israel took that land from Jordan in 1967

10 ) J. Steven Livacich / United States
18/04/2014 23:43
The Israelis have had a policy of attempting to make life diffiicult for persons within the occupied territories to live or pray since 1969 or so. After the U.S. president Richard M. Nixon began an active policy of arming and rearming Israel--Israel began to evolve a policy of encroachment and displacement in vilolation of U.N. resolution and international law--comments such as "The Palestinians must be made to realize that they are a defeated people"--make such actions reasons obvious.

11 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:04
The Israeli strategy is transparent. Invade the Haram. Get pelted with "stones and firecrackers" (sic). Respond with "stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets" to "disperse" the "riot". Impose restrictions (men under 65 etc.) to "prevent" further outbreaks of "violence". Declare it a "flashpoint", a "security concern" and impose control, if not sovereignty (even DIVIDE it like the Ibrahim mosque in Hebron) because it has become too volatile and dangerous for Jews to pray (or sacrifice a goat)

12 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:05
(contd.) there. It's deft, sly "slow transfer" executed by cynical masters of the art.

13 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:18
#6 ' "Worshipers?" Not hardly. Rather, provocateurs.' Is there NOTHING you won't type, Outlier? No matter HOW ridiculous? Sacrificed that goat yet?

14 ) @ Holiday-2, Myra-5, Steve-10 / USA
20/04/2014 17:01
2- They are stone-throwing, resistance fighters, and NOT "worshippers". 5- It is Jewish "holy ground" too, and far more holy to Jews, who don't consider Mecca & Medina to be the holiest sites. And, 10- The "Israelis had & have a policy of" Security & Peace, but - Muslim attacks and bombings lead to - Jewish checkpoints & Security Fences, and - MUSLIMS have failed to make Jews into " A DEFEATED PEOPLE", and in trying for decades, they have become what they tried to force upon Jews.

15 ) Outlier / USA
20/04/2014 21:17
13., Ian, I'm not happy about the goat sacrifice, either. It was and is wrong. But it was not violence, which some Palestinians perpetrated with political aims.

16 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2014 21:38
To Sam #9: 'Actually if any of you twerps bother to read the Oslo Accords you'll find it's the Arabs who shouldn't be there. Israel took that land from Jordan in 1967' Now what is the point of typing nonsense like that? Germany took Poland in 1939. In case you didn't notice, that didn't give Germany a right to it. This is actually the worst thing about Zionists: they generate this disgusting blizzard of obvious but innumerable lies. It's like being mobbed by flies.

17 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2014 21:40
To ian #12: '...It's deft, sly "slow transfer" executed by cynical masters of the art.' You noticed. Zionism at its finest. It's been going on since 1920. See Chaim Weizmann's assurances that 'a Jewish National Home' would never be taken to mean an independent state.
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