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Israeli forces storm Aqsa compound, injuring 6 worshipers
Published Sunday 13/04/2014 (updated) 17/04/2014 16:46
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Palestinian men scuffle with Israeli police at an alleyway leading
to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Feb. 25, 2014 in the
Old City of Jerusalem.(AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning, attacking worshipers with stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets, as Muslim worshipers braced for raids by right-wing Jewish groups as Passover approaches.

Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma'an that more than 50 Israeli "special forces" stormed the compound through the Moroccan Gate and the Chain Gate during the raid.

Al-Kiswani added that Israeli forces "besieged" Muslim worshipers with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades, and closed the Chain Gate with chains.

One of the Al-Aqsa compound security guards was struck by a rubber-coated bullet during the raid, and he was identified as Amjad al-Alami.

In addition, five worshipers were hurt by pepper spray used by Israeli officers during the assault.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces had arrived in the early morning and stationed themselves near the Moroccan gate watching the movement of all worshipers inside the compound. The soldiers also denied right-wing Israeli groups access to the compound.

Israeli police officers stationed at all of the gates of the compound "strictly inspected" all Muslims who attempted to access the compound, witnesses said.

Many young men were denied entry while the identity cards of others, including elderly men and women, were taken before they were allowed to enter the compound.

Eyewitnesses said a young Palestinian man was detained inside the compound and another one was assaulted by Israeli officers.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that "stones" had been thrown at police at the Moroccan Gate, and as a result "units" had entered the area in order to "disperse Arab rioters."

"Two police officers injured lightly during riots," he added, noting that they were "being treated at the scene."

Dozens of Muslims had spent the night in the compound in anticipation of raids by right-wing Jewish groups, who they expect to enter the compound on the occasion of Passover.

Prominent Israeli right-wing organizations have urged Jews to flock to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Passover in what many worshipers consider a provocation.

Palestinians hold sign against attempts by right-wing Jewish groups to hold
religious ceremonies in the compound (MaanImages)

Because of the sensitive nature of the Al-Aqsa compound, Israel maintains a compromise with the Islamic trust that controls it to not allow non-Muslim prayers in the area. Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to the site, leading to tension with Palestinian worshipers.

The compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.

It is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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1 ) Maisie / UK
13/04/2014 12:16
Al Aqsa Mosque is under the protection of Jordan. Their silence over these invasions as well as the killing of its Judge at the Allenby Crosing remains deafening.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/04/2014 12:30
There's a chicken and there's an egg. In this case, an organized riot occurred as planned by the Palestinians who spent the entire past week (as they always do) smuggling rocks, slingshots and other weapons into the compound. The goal of the Islamofascist organizers is to constantly attack Israelis anywhere in the area in an attempt to spark a bigger conflict and produce more martyrs. The organizers do not believe in freedom of religion nor peace and want jihad and martyrs.

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/04/2014 13:46
'...Because of the sensitive nature of the Al-Aqsa compound, Israel maintains a compromise with the Islamic trust that controls it to not allow non-Muslim prayers in the area...' Don't you mean 'violates the agreement'? Israel hardly 'maintains the compromise.'

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/04/2014 13:49
It's certainly a good thing that the Vatican isn't in an area under Jewish rule.

5 ) Andrew / USA
13/04/2014 15:12
Why is there anyplace on this Earth of ours that I should be prohibited from walking on simply because of the G-d I worship? Including AlAsqa. Am I any less a human because I am a Hindu, a Jew or whatever I believe in. If I am respectful, take my shoes off when asked, maybe say a prayer because your site might also be sacred to me, what harm have I done? If the Israelis were not so respectful of other's beliefs AlAsqa would be long gone.

6 ) Mel / USA
13/04/2014 16:21
Shame on you Israel for letting your"human dignity"&"purity of arms" sovereign army be controlled by messianic zealots.For your Zionist judiciary(so-called 'supreme court)cowering to Kahanist rabbi's & worst of all,SHAME ON USG,Jordan & Saudi for not denouncing(like they did AQ)extremist Judeofascists intent on destroying peace & pluralism in the Holy Land.Is this what the 'Kings'of Jordan&Saudi gave up,in exchange for petro-bucks & USFMF?Razing PLURALISTIC Palestine for a Zionist CULT CLUB!?

7 ) @ Colin-4 / Two Truths
13/04/2014 16:39
There are truths that you and the world should be aware of: 1- No Israel Church goers experience stun-grenades and rubber-bullets, because they do Not throw stones, like the Muslim "worshippers", and 2- If Muslim "worshippers" and protestors did Not throw stones, they too would Not experience stun-grenades and rubber-bullets !!

8 ) Mel / USA
13/04/2014 17:36
#7:Two truths:Right,well your UNTRUTHS are blatant.Even inside Israel(proper)both Christian&Muslim worshippers are assaulted,harassed,savaged & KILLED by Judeofascist Shas-Kach-Kookahanist trash regularly inT/Aviv,Haifa,Jaffa&Jerusalem,not to mention all Palestinian villages/towns trapped inside the OPT's.If Christian'End-timers'didn't FUND Ziofascist colonies then Churches would be ATTACKED by Judeo-fascists too!Resistance,by ANY means,is a LEGAL RIGHT.Zionism is digging ISRAEL'S grave too!

9 ) Outlier / USA
13/04/2014 17:45
From the article, I get the feeling I am reading a story, but not the whole story. Ma'an journalism should be better and would be if it did a complete job presenting the "who, what, when, where, how and why."

10 ) Johnny benson / USA
13/04/2014 18:43
Look fellas....it is clear as a bell that the Palestinians are protesting,rioting,and are busy causing unrest anywhere that will bring reaction from Israel....this is a carefully plan of attack..low key enough as not to cause very many casualties ..but to keep the propaganda myths alive..garnering symphony from the west...and money...it's all about the money

11 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/04/2014 19:10
Colin and Mel believe in freedom for everybody except Israel, that's their double standard we've been forced to suffer through on Maan comments. Why these two yanks spend every day reading over almost every article from Maan is hard to understand. My guess is that they really aren't who the are, and are possible paid propagandists. I've challenged them before and challenge them again - come meet me face to face and I'll drive you around. However, they aren't really who they are.

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
14/04/2014 10:45
To @ #7 '2- If Muslim "worshippers" and protestors did Not throw stones, they too would Not experience stun-grenades and rubber-bullets !!' I dunno about that. Farmers get shot. Palestinian toddlers get run over in the road. Palestinian children are killed when they go out to buy a coke. Why wouldn't Muslim worshippers experience stun-grenades and rubber bullets even if they didn't throw stones? Were the worshippers Goldstein shot throwing stones?

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
14/04/2014 10:47
To Andrew #5: 'If the Israelis were not so respectful of other's beliefs AlAsqa would be long gone.' There's a hooter. If the Israelis thought they could get away with it, al Aqsa would be long gone. It's survival has nothing to do with any respect for the beliefs of others -- which is noticeably absent in Israel. Israel commits exactly all the crimes it calculates it can get away with. Always has.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
14/04/2014 10:51
To Brain #2: 'In this case, an organized riot occurred as planned by the Palestinians who spent the entire past week smuggling rocks, slingshots and other weapons into the compound. The goal of the Islamofascist organizers is to constantly attack Israelis anywhere in the area... ' Sure, Brain. And 'Islamofascist'? That idiotic coinage died a well-deserved death about five years ago. The only Nazis in Palestine are the Zionist ones.

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/04/2014 00:18
To Brian #11: 'I've challenged them before and challenge them again - come meet me face to face and I'll drive you around.' First off, I have no guarantee I could get into Palestine. Second, I really don't think I could take looking at Zionist viciousness made manifest. Thirdly, I havent' the least desire to be in your company.

16 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/04/2014 00:21
To Brain #11: 'Colin and Mel believe in freedom for everybody except Israel, that's their double standard...' Au contraire. I hold Israel to exactly the same standard I would hold anyone else. I wouldn't condone Nazism in Germany, and I don't see why I should condone it in Israel. I certainly don't see why I should sponsor it, which as an American, is what gets my goat. Your crimes are bad enough -- that I am implicated in them is truly intolerable.

17 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/04/2014 00:23
To Johnny Benson #11: '...and money...it's all about the money...' From a supporter of Israel, that's rich. Did you know that through the mid-fifties, the Israeli government depended on 'reparations' payments from Germany for 87% of its budget? Absent LOTS OF MONEY, there would be no Israel.

18 ) Outlier / USA
15/04/2014 00:24
Mel, Colin, don't you think you should have the WHOLE story before assigning blame? It is obvious the whole story of this incident is not in this newspaper article.
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