AL-QUDS – Amid rising incursions into the third most holy place for Muslims, Israeli security forces have raided Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Tuesday, February 25, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at the Palestinian worshippers and protesters.
“The Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through Al-Magharbeh Gate and Selsela Gate, and surrounded the worshipers in Al-Qibali Mosque inside the complex,” an eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday, February 25.
Clashes erupted early on Tuesday when Israeli forces entered Al-Aqsa compound just after 7:30 am, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets.
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The attack resulted in injuring more than 15 Palestinians who were inside the mosque compound, while more than 30 suffered from temporary asphyxiation and three were arrested.
It comes as the Knesset prepares for discussing listing Al-Aqsa Mosque, the world's third holiest site for Muslims, under Israeli administration.
The proposal was made by Knesset MP Moshi Viglen from the Likud party which sparked Muslims anger.
Azzam al-Khatib, director of the Islamic Waqf (Religious Endowments) body that oversees the site, said he had called for a closure of access to the compound to avoid clashes.
“Since yesterday we've been demanding the closure of the Maghabira gate (which leads to the Al-Aqsa compound), because of the provocations and statements against Muslims by various rightwing parties,” he told AFP.
“We are waiting to see what happens at the Knesset today”, he said, adding, “There have been Jordanian contacts with Israel to prevent any moves that will affect Al-Aqsa's status” under Jordanian administration.
Jordan has been supervising Al-Aqsa Mosque and other endowments in Al-Quds since 1948.
A 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel recognizes Jordan's special supervisory role over holy sites in Al-Quds.
Tuesday's attacks come amid rising incursions into the holy mosque by extremist Jewish settlers backed by Israeli troops.
According to Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, 1,720 Israelis had invaded the mosque compound since the start of 2014.
In January 2014, at least 1,061 Israelis, including 645 Jewish settlers, have stormed the mosque.
In February, more than 659 have stormed the mosque, the foundation added in statement released on Monday.
Al-Aqsa is the Muslims’ first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and it is the third holiest shrine after Al Ka`bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra'a and Al Mi'raj — the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).
Israel occupied the holy city and the West Bank in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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