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General strike held in occupied territories over Israeli killing of Palestinian near al-Aqsa Mosque

The picture shows a general strike in the occupied Palestinian territories in response to the recent Israeli killing of a young Palestinian near the Chain Gate, one of the entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on April 2, 2023. (By Palestine's Shehab news agency)

A general strike has been held across towns and cities in the occupied Palestinian territories following the Israeli regime’s killing of a Palestinian youth near the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds on the second Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Palestinian media said the strike, organized by the Higher Follow-up Committee for the Arab Masses in Israel, spread inside the occupied Palestinian territories on Sunday in response to the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Muhammad al-Osibi by the Israeli occupation forces near the Chain Gate, one of the entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

“The committee called for the organization of struggle vigils in various Arab towns this evening in response to the crime, after it organized vigils in a number of Arab towns yesterday evening,” Palestine’s official Wafa news agency said.

The news agency stressed that the committee plans to turn Osibi’s funeral in his hometown of Hura in the occupied Negev into a mass demonstration against “all policies of occupation, oppression and racial discrimination.”

Palestine’s Shehab news agency shared photos of the all-out strike across various towns and cities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli forces opened fire at Osibi on Friday evening as he tried to protect a Palestinian girl who was being prevented by the occupation troops from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assaulted at the Chain Gate.

After the shooting, the Israeli military closed the doors of al-Aqsa Mosque and mobilized a large number of its forces in the courtyards of the holy site and imposed restrictions in the Old City.

Thousands of Muslim worshipers crossed Israeli military checkpoints deployed early on Friday morning before arriving at al-Aqsa Mosque for the second Friday prayers of Ramadan.

Since the start of the holy month, the Israeli regime has imposed strict restrictions on the entry and exit of Palestinians to and from the gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Footage from some of the gates showed Palestinians scuffling with Israeli forces who blocked the gates. A number of Palestinians were arrested at the scene.

Amid heightened tensions with Palestinian worshipers, Israeli settlers also press ahead with their frequent incursions and provocative rituals at the holy site.

Hardline Israeli legislators and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, yet non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967.

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