Hundreds of Palestinian protesters were injured in attacks by the Israeli police in the flashpoint Jerusalem holy site, the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday after days of raids and attacks against peaceful worshippers during the month of Ramadan.
50 of the injured were taken to hospitals, a medical source told Anadolu Agency Monday.
Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, wounding hundreds ahead of a rally to celebrate "Jerusalem Day," commemorating the 1967 Six-Day War. The protesters retaliated by throwing stones and other objects at the police. Palestinians reported stun grenades fired into the mosque compound, with dozens injured.
Since Friday, the police have been constantly attacking Palestinian worshippers in the mosque, amounting to almost 300 injured over the weekend. Most of the injuries were caused by rubber bullets fired by Israeli police, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.
The attack on Islam's third holiest site and around East Jerusalem coincides with Israel's decision to evict Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers, drawing condemnation from several countries for both the violence at Al-Aqsa and the evictions.
Tensions in Jerusalem have soared in recent weeks as Palestinians have protested against Israel's restrictions on access to parts of the Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and after authorities ordered several Palestinian families to leave their homes to make way for Israeli settlers.
Earlier, police barred Jews from visiting the site on Monday, which Israelis mark as "Jerusalem Day". The police decision came hours before a planned march by hardline Israeli nationalists through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, an annual event widely perceived as a provocative display of Israeli occupation over the contested city. Police have allowed the flag-waving parade to take place despite growing concerns that it could further fan the flames.
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