Jerusalem24 – Since early morning on Thursday, Israeli Police have been cracking down on Palestinian worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as Israeli settlers storm the holy site throughout the day on the occasion of Israel’s Independence Day.
According to WAFA, heavily-armed police attacked the Palestinians inside the Islamic holy site by firing tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets. Many injuries were reported, most from tear gas inhalation.
The confrontations erupted when the police allowed dozens of settlers to enter the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa from the Magharba Gate to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. The settlers waved the Israeli flag at Al-Qatanin Gate, located on the western side of the site, and sang the Israeli national anthem.
Police scuffled with Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa and attempted to force them out of the compound, as well as members of the press.
Police also sealed off the Qibli prayer area within the mosque compound, denying worshippers access and causing damage to the 800-year-old Salah Al-Din Minbar (pulpit) located inside the prayer area.
Israel’s Independence Day also marks the Nakba, when Zionist militias and gangs oversaw the ethnic cleansing of 750 thousand of indigenous Arabs, turning them into refugees to establish the state of Israel.