Jerusalem-At least 150 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli riot police inside Al Aqsa synagogue emulsion on Friday, extending a recent rejuvenescence of violence that has raised fears of a slide back to wider conflict.
Utmost of the Palestinian injuries were incurred by rubber pellets, stun grenades and beatings with police bludgeons, the Palestine Red Crescent said, at the most sensitive point in the generations-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli security forces have been on high alert after a series of deadly Arab road attacks throughout the country over the once two weeks. Competitions at the Al Aqsa emulsion in Jerusalem’s walled Old City pose the threat of sparking a slide back into a broader conflagration like last time’s Gaza war.
The Al Aqsa emulsion sits atop the Old City table of East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, and is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount.
In a statement, Israeli police said hundreds of Palestinians hurled firecrackers and monuments at their forces and toward the near Jewish prayer area of the Western Wall in the Old City after Ramazan morning prayers.
It said police also entered the Al Aqsa emulsion to “ disperse and push back (the crowd and) enable the rest of the worshippers to leave the place safely”, adding that three officers were injured in the clashes.
Police detained hundreds of Palestinians, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a tweet.
The Palestinian foreign ministry, pertaining to the Al Aqsa violence, said it “ holds Israel completely and directly responsible for this crime and its consequences”.
Immediate intervention by the transnational community is demanded to stop Israeli aggression against Al Aqsa synagogue and help effects from going out of control, said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, prophet for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who governs tone- ruled areas of the Israeli-engaged West Bank.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, said Israel “ bears responsibility for the consequences”.