Days of Palestine – Jerusalem
The Israeli occupation police stormed the Aqsa Mosque early on Sunday morning, clashed with Muslim worshipers and locked many of them in the Qibli prayer building.
According to local sources, Israeli police forces stormed following the dawn prayer the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards and plateaus, started to provoke clashes gradually with Muslim worshipers and locked a number of them in the Qibli building after sealing its doors with chains later in the morning.
Policemen were also deployed on the rooftop of the besieged Qibli building.
Meanwhile, police forces fired some stun grenades during the clashes and embarked on harassing Muslim worshipers in the Mosque’s courtyards and passages as hundreds of extremist Jewish settlers were being escorted by police guards into the Islamic holy site.
As the first groups of settlers started their provocative tours of the holy site under tight police escort, Muslim worshipers embarked on performing the Duha (forenoon) prayer in different areas of the Mosque, especially in front of the Qibli building.
Local sources also reported seeing drones carrying stun grenades and tear gas canisters overflying the area over the Mosque.
During the settlers’ tours at the Mosque, angry Muslim worshipers inside the locked Qibli building and in the courtyards embarked on chanting religious and protest slogans as police officers spread around and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades sporadically to disperse them.
According to local sources, at least 2,000 extremist settlers entered the Aqsa Mosque compound through its Maghariba Gate in the morning, ahead of a provocative flag march that could reignite confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of a small far-right party in the Knesset, and a number of his supporters were among the settlers who defiled the Mosque.
10 Palestinians were reportedly arrested by police officers in the morning during their presence in the Aqsa Mosque compound.
Palestinian journalists and photographers said they were prevented from entering the Aqsa Mosque and threatened with arrest.
The Red Crescent, for its part, said that settlers attacked one of its ambulance crews in the Old City while they were trying to reach an injured person in the al-Wad neighborhood.
Israeli occupation forces also erected road barriers and prevented Palestinian access to Bab al-Amud areas (Damascus Gate), the main entrance to the Old City where the settler march of flags will go through later in the afternoon.