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Israeli forces storm holy al-Aqsa mosque gates, Palestinians confront raids

Israeli special forces are stationed across the Old City after raid on al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli forces have stormed two of the gates to the holy al-Aqsa Mosque on the eve of the International al-Quds Day amid heightened security measures.

Local sources said Israel forces raided the vicinity of al-Aqsa Mosque in the early hours of dawn Friday, the Bab al-Silala gate in particular. Palestinians rushed to gather in the courtyards of the holy mosque to confront the Israeli forces who cut power to the premises.

On Thursday night, security forces arrested Hanadi Halwani, Khadija Khweis, and Nafisa Khweis. According to Palestine Today, all three are outspoken liberationists who have been banned from visiting al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel.

Israeli forces also attacked worshipers at Bab Hutta, another gate to al-Aqsa Mosque.

They further raided Nablus as warning sirens were activated in the city, and troops spread across the area.

The latest Israeli attacks come ahead of the International al-Quds Day.

A symbol of unity in the Muslim world, al-Quds is a common heritage for followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Al-Quds Day is celebrated annually all over the world after being designated by the late founder of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979. It is a day of international solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Israel’s recent acts of violence at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound have drawn global denunciations.

Heavily armed Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday night before firing tear gas and stun grenades into the Qibli prayer hall, where hundreds of men, women, elderly people, and children were staying overnight to pray. Some eyewitnesses said rubber-coated steel bullets were also fired.

Israeli forces have wounded and rounded up hundreds of Palestinians during the attacks that have seen a rise since the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan. Illegal Israeli settlers have, meanwhile, been freely violating the compound under the Israeli military and police force’s protection.

Palestinian resistance movements in the nearby besieged Gaza Strip have been warning the regime that it would have to bear the consequences of the flare-up that it has brought about in al-Quds and beyond.

The Israeli act of violence was followed by Israeli airstrikes on Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip amid rocket fires by Palestinian resistance groups toward the occupied territories in retaliation to the attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque worshipers.

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