Clashes, Injuries After Settlers Storm Aqsa Mosque


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Clashes, Injuries After Settlers Storm Aqsa Mosque
Monday, 3 June, 2019

Jewish youth wave an Israeli flag as they celebrate the annual "Jerusalem Day" in Jerusalem's Old City June 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Ramallah- Kifah Zboun

Fierce clashes erupted between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli forces at East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday during a settler ‘tour’ at the flashpoint site. The police arrested at least six Palestinians from inside the mosque and used tear gas and sticks against the worshippers.

Israeli police allowed more than 400 Israeli settlers into the compound, a rare visit during the final days of the fasting month of Ramadan, which will end this week.

Director of Al Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani said that 1,000 extremists visited the mosque with a political decision to change the status quo, which is a Jordanian-Israeli deal to determine the number of non-Muslim visitors at the last ten days of Ramadan.

Kiswani accused the Israeli occupation forces and special forces of protecting extremists to change this situation by force.

Palestinian worshippers clashed at the mosque square with Israeli police that stormed the place to protect the extremist Israelis who insisted on entering the mosque to celebrate Jerusalem Day - an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the ongoing Israeli assaults on Al Aqsa Mosque – it called on the international community to take action and hold its responsibility in this regard.

In its turn, Spokesperson for the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Sufian Qudah reiterated that Israel must abide by its obligations under international law and respect the historical and legal status quo of the site, as well as the worshippers’ rights and sentiments, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

Jordan is in charge of sacred Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem by virtue of a deal with the Palestinian authority. After the clashes, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a tweet that calm had returned and visits continued.

The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, further, denounced the dangerous violation that is an aggression against Muslims in the world and not Palestine only, while Palestinian factions urged defending Aqsa.