JERUSALEM, September 15, 2015 (WAFA) – During the third consecutive day of violent clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Israeli police Tuesday morning stormed the compound and damaged the doors of the southern Mosque.
WAFA correspondent reported that Israeli police stormed the compound via al-Maghariba (Moroccan) Gate and assaulted Palestinian worshippers, fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at them.
Israeli police stormed and deployed across the compound early morning before advancing towards the southern Mosque, known as al-Qibili.
Police proceeded to storm al-Qibili Mosque, damaging its doors, in order to detain Palestinian worshippers barricading themselves inside.
Palestinian media reported on witnesses as saying that during the ensuing clashes with Palestinian worshippers, police forces entered the site.
Witnesses were also reported that heavily-armed police “tread on the carpets with their military boots until they reached the Saladin’s Minbar (pulpit).”
During their attempt to storm the Mosque, police fired stun grenades, sparking fire in its vicinity, partly burning prayer mats (carpets) inside the Mosque. Firefighters were able to put it out.
Police also wrecked havoc inside the Mosque, destroying several historical glass windows.
This prompted officials from the Jordan-run Islamic Wqaf (Endowments) Department to decry Israeli police storming of the Mosque as ‘unprecedented’.
Local media reported that Israeli police detained a young Palestinian man after assaulting him.
Meanwhile, all Palestinians were denied entry into the Mosque compound by Israeli police stationed at the gates, causing tensions to rise.
Palestinian worshippers gathered near the gates leading to the Mosque, demanding allowing them free access and preventing Jewish settlers’ intrusion.
The clashes followed two days of similar incidents at the Mosque compound, with many Palestinians injured and detained by police and as Jewish settler groups called on Jews to en masse force their way into the Mosque to mark the start of the Jewish new year.
Tuesday’s clashes followed violent ones that took place overnight between police and Palestinians across Jerusalem.
Clashes erupted in the Jerusalem ‘s town of al-‘Eizariya, where forces fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Dozens of Palestinian locals suffocated and several others were injured after being hit by rubber-coated steel bullets. Ambulances rushed into the scene to evacuate injuries.
One of the injured locals was reportedly detained by police while being transported by Police reportedly detained an injured young man while he was evacuated by an ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Similar clashes broke out in Jerusalem’s refugee camp of Shu‘fat, where locals hurled stones and molotov cocktails at soldiers who fired bombs.
A 16-year-old Palestinian minor was reportedly detained by police from the Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Jabal al-Zeitoun, also known as al-Tur, purportedly for hurling stones.
Similar clashes broke out in Silwan, where Palestinian locals hurled molotov cocktails on Israeli police and settler outposts. Several Palestinians were reportedly detained during the clashes.