Cii News | 08 March 2013
Israeli police have fired stun grenades and attacked Palestinian worshippers on the sacred grounds of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, following Jumuah prayers.
Dozens of Zionist officers entered the Al Aqsa compound, one of Islam’s holiest sites, targeting several hundred protesters who had gathered to voice their anger at the desecration of the Quraan and an attack on Palestinian girls at the mosque by an Israeli officer earlier in the week.
According to eyewitness social media reports, huge clashes and confrontations between the Palestinians and Israeli forces ensued, leaving at least 75 Palestinians wounded, among them many women.
A number of invading Israeli policemen were also hurt, according to a police spokesman. Palestinian sources report that at least one policemen was also hit by a Palestinian Molotov cocktail.
A surge in frustration in the occupied West Bank over the past several weeks has raised concern in Israel that a new Palestinian uprising could erupt.
The peak in tensions comes in the buildup to a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Jerusalem and Ramallah at the end of the month.
Emotions have also run high in the Occupied West Bank at the funeral of a Palestinian who died of his wounds on Thursday after being shot by Israeli soldiers during a confrontation with stone-throwers two weeks ago. 22 year old Mohammad Asfour was injured on the head with an Israeli plastic coated steel bullet during a demonstration in support of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
Over the weekend, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage published details of an Israeli police attack on two Palestinian school girls near the Mughrabi Gate, one of the entrances to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, and their subsequent desecration of the Quraan.
That incident sparked angry protests from Palestinians as well as Muslims across the world.
Quoted by AFP, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld denied any wrongdoing on the part of the occupying soldiers.
In a separate development, Saeed Siyaam, a guide at Masjid al Aqsa told Cii Radio that Islamic Waqf officials had been informed by Israeli authorities that the green coloured gates of Masjidul Aqsa are to be painted brown, purportedly due to an upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama to the Holy Site.
“These gates have remained green for hundreds of years,” the East Jerusalem resident said.
Siyaam said that recent events represented some of the “darkest days” for Masjidul Aqsa, since Israeli forces seized control of the mosque in 1967. “Israeli authorities want to change everything,” he lamented.
According to the latest reports, Asr prayers at Masjid al Aqsa have subsequently passed off peacefully. However tensions are still high and clashes have been reported in several neighborhoods of al Quds.