Monday, May 20

Israeli Aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque Continues

Al-Quds, West Bank_ Israel has continued its aggression on the Al-Aqsa Mosque today in occupied eastern Jerusalem leading to a rising tension that could cause a major conflict in the region.

More than a dozen tear gas canisters and stun grenades fired by Israeli police landed in the Al-Aqsa mosque, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene. Smoke rose in front of the mosque and the iconic golden-domed shrine on the site, and rocks littered the surrounding plaza. Inside one area of the compound, shoes and debris lay scattered over ornate carpets.

More than 270 Palestinians were hurt, including 205 who went to hospitals and clinics for treatment, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Five of the injured were in serious condition. Police said nine officers were hurt, including one who was hospitalized.

Monday’s confrontation was the latest in the sacred compound after weeks of mounting tensions between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled closed consultations on the Jerusalem situation Monday. Diplomats said the meeting was requested by Tunisia, the Arab representative on the council.

Late Sunday, the U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke to his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, and urged calm. A White House statement said that Sullivan called on Israel to to “pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm” and expressed the U.S.’s “serious concerns” about the ongoing violence and planned evictions of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

An AP photographer at the scene said that early Monday morning, protesters had barricaded gates to the walled compound with wooden boards and scrap metal. Sometime after 7. a.m., clashes erupted, with those inside throwing stones at police deployed outside. Police entered the compound, firing tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and stun grenades.

At some point, about 400 people, both young protesters and older worshippers, were inside the carpeted Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades into the mosque.

Palestinian protests has occurred nightly throughout Ramadan, beginning when Israel blocked off a popular spot where Muslims traditionally gather each night at the end of their daylong fast. Israel later removed the restrictions, but clashes quickly resumed amid tensions over the planned eviction of Palestinians from the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Israel’s Supreme Court postponed a key ruling Monday that could have forced dozens of Palestinians from their homes, citing the “circumstances.”

On Friday, over two hundred Palestinians have been wounded as Israeli occupying forces continued their attack on the holy Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in Palestine.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, over 200 Palestinians have been injured and 88 have been hospitalized, with many injuries being head and eyes related. Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dispersed worshippers elsewhere in occupied East Jerusalem.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian worshippers packed into the mosque on the final Friday of Ramadan and many stayed on to protest in support of Palestinians facing eviction from their homes on Israeli-occupied land claimed by Jewish settlers.

During the past week, residents of Sheikh Jarrah, as well as Palestinian and international solidarity activists, have attended nightly vigils to support the Palestinian families under threat of forced displacement.

Stating that Zionist regime’s move in expelling Palestinian from eastern Al-Quds can be considered a war crime, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville called on Tel Aviv to stop this heinous act of expelling Palestinians from Eastern occupied lands and territories.

He said that if the order to evacuate Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is issued and implemented, it will be regarded as violation of international law, Al Jazeera reported.

Given the disturbing and worrying scenes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood over the past few days, “we would like to emphasize that Eastern Al-Quds remains part of the Palestinian lands and territories and is subject to international humanitarian law,” Colville added.

Israeli border police and forces have attacked the sit-ins using skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and shock grenades over the past few days. Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested.

The US State Department said it is “extremely concerned” about the violence in Jerusalem and called on Israeli and Palestinian officials “to act decisively” to deescalate tensions.

The worshippers were attacked inside the mosque courtyard, Haram Al-Sharif and Masjid Al-Qiblatain inside Al- Aqsa. Palestinians responded by pelting Israeli soldiers with stones and glass bottles. They continued their intervention at regular intervals against the Muslims in the mosque, while worshippers continued to perform Tarawih, special nightly prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dispersed worshippers elsewhere in occupied East Jerusalem, as weeks-long tensions between Israel and the Palestinians over Jerusalem soared again.

Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of Palestinian worshippers packed into the mosque on the final Friday of Ramadan and many stayed on to protest in support of Palestinians facing eviction from their homes on Israeli-occupied land claimed by Jewish settlers.

During the past week, residents of Sheikh Jarrah, as well as Palestinian and international solidarity activists, have attended nightly vigils to support the Palestinian families under threat of forced displacement.

Israeli border police and forces have attacked the sit-ins using skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and shock grenades over the past few days. Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested.

The US State Department said it is “extremely concerned” about the violence in Jerusalem and called on Israeli and Palestinian officials “to act decisively” to deescalate tensions.

Ned Price, the department’s spokesman, posted the statement in his social media account late on Friday (02:35 GMT Saturday).

“There is no excuse for violence, but such bloodshed is especially disturbing now, coming as it does on the last days of Ramadan. This includes Friday’s attack on Israeli soldiers and reciprocal ‘price tag’ attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, which we condemn in no uncertain terms.”

Price added that the US is also “deeply concerned” about the potential eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods of Jerusalem.

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