JERUSALEM, September 4, 2013 (WAFA) – Jewish fanatics who have declared openly their intention to turn al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City into a Jewish shrine Wednesday provoked Muslim worshippers at the mosque when they entered the walled compound in large numbers and under police protection, according to Muslim officials.
They said the fanatics were allowed to freely walk the yards of the Muslim holy place at a time police prevented hundreds of Muslims, mainly those below 50 years of age, and students whose schools are inside the compound, from entering it.
Officials said the few Palestinians who were able to enter the compound threw rocks at the fanatics and tried to push them out.
Police intervened in large numbers and attacked the Palestinians causing some injuries, mainly among elderly women present inside the mosque who were sprayed with pepper.
Palestinians tried to keep a vigil inside the mosque since Tuesday night to prevent the Jewish fanatics from taking the place over as they celebrate the Jewish New Year.
However, police evacuated most of the Muslims from inside the compound and closed its gates to prevent worshippers from entering it. Police even prevented Muslim officials of the Waqf, the department in charge of Muslim affairs and property in Jerusalem, from reaching their offices inside the compound.
As a result, people clashed with police outside the gates to al-Aqsa compound and in the allies of the Old City, said witnesses.
Police fired rubber-coated metal bullets at stone throwers injuring one 11-year-old child in the shoulder.
Waqf director Azzam Khatib condemned the Israeli police measures against Muslims and said the police should have closed the compound to the Jewish fanatics who have openly declared their intention to take over the Muslim holy place.