Troops fire stun grenades and tear gas as they storm Islam’s third holiest site, sparking clashes with the Palestinians.
Israeli troops have fired tear gas and stun grenades at worshippers inside Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, local media reported and witnesses said.
Several people were reportedly wounded in the ongoing raid on Friday.
Videos shared by Palestinians on social media showed Israeli troops storming the mosque as worshippers gathered for early morning prayers.
The storming of Islam’s third holiest site sparked violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians.
“Seven injured people were taken to hospital to be treated for upper body injuries,” a member of the Palestinian Red Crescent told the AFP news agency.
The escalation of violence comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and ahead of the start of the Jewish festival of Passover, an overlap that can heighten tensions around sacred sites in Jerusalem’s Old City.
BREAKING: Israeli soldiers are currently invading Al Aqsa mosque, firing bullets, sound grenades, and tear gas at Palestinians. pic.twitter.com/f94x6Ke3yL
— IMEU (@theIMEU) April 15, 2022
— Abier (@abierkhatib) April 15, 2022
Last year, similar violence by the Israeli troops and illegal settlers at the Al Aqsa Mosque set off a devastating 11-day Israeli assault on besieged Gaza that killed more than 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 people in Israel.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in a move never recognised by the international community.
Some 700,000 Jewish settlers now live in both areas, in settlements regarded as illegal under international law.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies