Shock and outrage develop as video of armed police beating worshippers throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan goes viral. Israeli authorities declare they had been making an attempt to detain “law-breaking juveniles” who had “barricaded themselves” contained in the compound.
International criticism and concern mounted Wednesday after Israeli police attacked Palestinians inside Islam’s third-holiest website, sparking a navy change of rockets and air strikes, with fears of additional escalation.
Two extra rockets had been fired late Wednesday from the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip in direction of Israel, the military and witnesses mentioned, and contemporary altercations broke out at Al-Aqsa mosquein Jerusalem throughout the Jewish Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Armed police in riot gear stormed the prayer corridor of Al-Aqsa mosque earlier than daybreak Wednesday, aiming to dislodge “law-breaking youths and masked agitators” they mentioned had barricaded themselves inside. A barrage of rocks and fireworks met the officers, police video confirmed, and greater than 350 individuals had been arrested.
United Nations chief ‘shocked and appalled’
United Nations Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres was “shocked and appalled” by photos he noticed of Israeli safety forces beating individuals on the mosque, notably as a result of it got here at a time holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims that ought to be a interval of peace, his spokesman mentioned.
White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned the United States mentioned he was “extraordinarily involved by the persevering with violence and we urge all sides to keep away from additional escalation”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose nation and Israel have been rebuilding ties, mentioned: “Trampling on the Al-Aqsa mosque is our crimson line.”
Later on Wednesday, Israeli police mentioned “dozens of law-breaking juveniles, a few of them masked, threw fireworks and stones” into the mosque and tried once more to barricade themselves in as worshippers gathered for night prayers.
Officers thwarted and dispersed the “violent rioters” and allowed worshippers to go away, police mentioned. An AFP journalist noticed Israeli safety forces blocking entry routes to the mosque.
Israel blames ‘violent rioters’
A spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas mentioned Israel was “creating an ambiance of escalation, instability and stress”, saying police stormed the mosque and attacked worshippers on Wednesday night.
Violence in the Israeli-Palestinian battle has intensified for the reason that new authorities of veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took energy in December, a coalition with excessive proper and ultra-Orthodox Jewish events.
74-year-old Palestinian witness Abdel Karim Ikraiem mentioned Israeli police armed with batons, tear fuel grenades and smoke bombs burst into the mosque “by power” and “beat the ladies and males” worshipping there early Wednesday.
One video broadly circulated on social media confirmed police clubbing individuals on the flooring contained in the mosque. The Palestinian Pink Crescent mentioned it had handled 37 individuals, together with some after their launch from custody.
Israel’s far-right Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir voiced “full backing” for police and their “swift and decided” actions.
Palestinian militant group Hamas, which guidelines Gaza, referred to as on West Financial institution Palestinians “to go en masse to the Al-Aqsa mosque to defend it”. The mosque in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem is constructed on high of what Jews name the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest website. It has been a frequent flashpoint, and related raids there in Could 2021 sparked the most recent Gaza warfare that raged for 11 days.
Retaliation from Gaza
On Gaza’s streets, protesters burned tyres and swore “to defend and shield the Al-Aqsa mosque”. Inside hours of the first clashes at Al-Aqsa mosque, at the least 9 rockets had been fired from Gaza in direction of Israel, the military mentioned, including that “in response” warplanes struck two suspected Hamas weapons-manufacturing websites.
The air strikes had been adopted by new rocket fireplace from Gaza and additional Israeli strikes, AFP journalists reported.
Later Wednesday witnesses reported two extra rockets fired from northern Gaza. Israel mentioned “one launch failed” and fell in Gaza whereas the different landed “in the space of the safety fence” boundary. Islamic Jihad, one other Gaza-based militant group, referred to as the rockets “a primary warning message”.
Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh condemned the Israeli police motion inside Al-Aqsa, saying “the degree of brutality requires pressing Palestinian, Arab and worldwide motion”.
Germany urged each sides “to do all the things potential to calm the state of affairs”.
The Arab League denounced “the assault on the trustworthy” and referred to as an emergency assembly.
Jordan, which administers the mosque, condemned its “storming”, and referred to as on Israeli forces to go away the compound instantly.
The United Arab Emirates and Morocco, which established ties with Israel in 2020 as half of US-brokered accords, additionally strongly condemned the Israeli police motion. A UAE international ministry assertion rejected all practices that “threaten to additional exacerbate escalation”. It additionally criticised worshippers who “barricade themselves”.
Morocco’s international ministry burdened the want “to keep away from measures and violations possible to injury possibilities of peace in the area”.
The Gulf emirate of Qatar, which does not recognise Israel, warned that Israeli practices “could have critical repercussions on safety and stability in the area, and will undermine efforts to revive the stalled peace course of, if the worldwide neighborhood does not hasten to take motion”.
So far this 12 months, the battle has claimed the lives of at least 91 Palestinians, 15 Israelis and one Ukrainian, in accordance to an AFP tally primarily based on official sources from each sides.