Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Israeli forces storm Aqsa Mosque in third day of clashes


JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound's southern mosque on Tuesday sparking the third straight day of violent clashes at the third holiest site in Islam.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured in the clashes, during which Israeli forces fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters, and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian worshipers, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said.

The director of the society's office in Jerusalem, Amin Abu Ghazala, told Ma'an that 26 Palestinians had received treatment.

He said that some of the Palestinians had suffered wounds and bruises after they were physically attacked, while others had suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, although he added that no one needed to be hospitalized.

The director of Al-Aqsa religious school for boys, Nadir al-Afghani, said that a 14-year-old boy was hit in his head by a rubber-coated steel bullet and had received 10 stitches.

Officials from the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Endowment office in Jerusalem told Ma'an that Israeli forces entered the compound at 6:30 a.m. and deployed across the compound.

They proceeded to close the doors of the southern mosque with "chains and steels," but during the ensuing clashes with Palestinian worshipers they entered the holy site, witnesses said.

Witnesses said that heavily-armed Israeli forces "tread on the carpets with their military boots until they reached Saladin's Minbar (pulpit)."

Witnesses said that stun grenades caused a fire to break out near the mosque's Bab al-Janaez (funerals door), which fire fighters were able to put out.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not be reached for comment. more

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