Israeli forces were deployed in large numbers across East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighbourhoods earlier in the day ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and the Jewish fast of Yom Kippur, both on Wednesday.
Sources with the Jordanian-run organisation that administers the site, the Waqf, told AFP that police stun grenades provoked four fires inside the building that were brought under control. Many no longer believe setting up Palestine alongside Israel is realistic and support political violence.
Many residents were injured, and received treatment by Palestinian medics, in the Mosque’s clinic.
Tensions in and around the holy compound have been running high in recent weeks with Jews marking their High Holidays.
Jews are allowed to visit the site, but can not pray there to avoid provoking tensions. Abbas’ hopes of setting up a Palestinian state through negotiations with Israel have been derailed, and a new poll shows that a majority of Palestinians want Abbas to resign and dissolve his self-rule government, the Palestinian Authority.
PLO Executive Committee member Wasil Abu Yousef urged the worldwide community to stop Israeli restrictions and violations at Al-Aqsa, as a general strike across the occupied West Bank saw stores close for two hours in solidarity with the holy site.
In June, there was an arson in a legendary Church on the Sea of Galilee.
“We asked the police yesterday not to allow any non-Muslim in the compound in these tense days but police didn’t respond positively to our demands”, he said, adding that several people had suffered from tear gas inhalation.
“We therefore declare that we can not continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power”, he declared. “It’s an Islamic holy site and we will not let them do that”, he said. They can only target the perpetrators’ legs. He said that Israeli forces “are firing live ammunition at protesters” in a few parts of Hebron. He has openly called for the torching of churches, but has been set free after brief questioning.
It said the “Palestinians are getting poorer on average for the third year in a row”.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 22 people wounded, with three hospitalized after being hit by rubber bullets, including one person struck in the face while inside the mosque.
Last week witnessed daily Israeli attacks on the mosque, while settlers stormed its courtyards on a daily basis.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of Al-Quds, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements. Israeli authorities have yet to apprehend the Jewish extremists.