Israeli forces have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds, injuring more than 150 worshipers in stepped-up violence in the fasting holy month of Ramadan.
The Palestinian Ma’an news agency said the violence broke out at dawn on Friday when the occupation forces raided the al-Aqsa Mosque through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, firing sound bombs and rubber bullets at the worshipers randomly.
“Violent confrontations erupted between the occupation forces and hundreds of young men who were deployed in the al-Aqsa courtyards,” the agency said, adding that the Israeli forces were obstructing the work of ambulances that reach the mosque’s entry gates.
Media reports said the occupation forces also attacked paramedics and press crews, chased them in the courtyards of the al-Aqsa Mosque, and beat a number of them.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRSC) reported that 152 fasting Palestinians had been transferred to hospitals in the occupied al-Quds for injuries as a result of the raid.
The regime has stepped up its deadly acts of aggression across Palestinian territories since the beginning of Ramadan, as a result of which Palestinians put up a stronger resistance to counter the aggression.
Some two dozen Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 22, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has already given Israeli forces a free hand to “defeat” what he called “terror” in the West Bank.
The Islamic resistance movement Hamas has strongly condemned the recent killings across the occupied West Bank, stating that they exposed the appalling nature of the Tel Aviv regime.
Palestinian teenager succumbs to wounds in Jenin
The clashes on Friday occurred just hours after another Palestinian was killed by the regime’s forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Palestine’s official Wafa news agency said 17-year-old Palestinian, Shawkat Kamal Abed, succumbed to his wounds a day after he was shot during an attack conducted by Israeli forces in Kafr Dan village, northwest of Jenin.
The Palestinian teenager (pictured below) was transferred to Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin for treatment before he succumbed to his wounds.
Announcing the death of Kamal Abed, the Palestinian Health Ministry said the latest fatality brought to seven the number of Palestinians killed across the occupied territory in less than 48 hours.
Fawaz Hamayel, from the town of Beita in the south of Nablus, succumbed to gunshot wounds by the Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday. Shas Kammaji, the brother of the Palestinian prisoner Ayham Kammaji, was killed in clashes in the town of Kafr Dan, west of Jenin, and Mustafa Faisal Abu al-Rub was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers at the western entrance to Jenin.
Tensions have escalated in the occupied land since last Thursday when Palestinians launched a retaliatory attack in the heart of Israel, Tel Aviv, as part of their resistance to the intensified Israeli crackdown. Since then, Israeli forces have been carrying out raids in different towns, especially in Jenin.
The attack was conducted when a Palestinian youth, identified as Raad Fathi Hazem, entered a pub on a crowded main street in Tel Aviv and began firing his weapon.
The 28-year-old, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, was killed by Israeli forces in a pre-dawn firefight near a mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.
Palestinian resistance groups and the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah hailed Hazem’s action as a “heroic operation.”
Hamas lauds Palestinian defense of al-Aqsa Mosque
Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesperson of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, hailed the Palestinian people for their defense of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque amid escalated Israeli aggression in Ramadan.
“We salute our people in the occupied city of al-Quds and the Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque for defending this holy site and for their heroic confrontation with the Zionist occupation forces,” Barhoum said.
The Hamas spokesperson said the heroic images of the worshipers and youths while confronting the occupation soldiers are reminiscent of the heroic images of the resistance and the failure of the electronic gates project that our nation faced in the occupied al-Quds and the 1948 territories.
“Our nation will stand up to come to the aid of the al-Aqsa Mosque and its worshipers, and just as they won all their fights against this regime, they will also defeat the occupiers in this battle,” Barhoum stressed. “And [our nation] has enough power to fulfill its will and prevent the implementation of the occupying Zionist regime’s imposed equations on the Palestinian people in al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The Hamas official also said, “Our people in al-Quds are not alone in their battle in the al-Aqsa Mosque, but the whole Palestinian nation and the heroic resistance groups, as well as their vigilant forces and children of the freedom-seeking nation, are by their side.”