Israeli forces storm Al Aqsa, seven Palestinians injured
A Palestinian woman yells at Israeli security forces during a demonstration in front of Jerusalem's old city's Damascus gate on Tuesday. Israeli forces on Wednesday stormed the Al Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam. (AFP)
Israeli forces raided the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday and assaulted Palestinian worshipers in the area, witnesses said.
Locals told Ma'an that Israeli police checked the area before exiting through the Moroccan Gate. Shortly afterwards, Israeli forces raided the compound and fired sound bombs in the courtyard.
Seven Palestinians were injured during the raid, locals said.
Israeli forces evacuated the al-Aqsa compound, including schools, and at around 8 a.m. prevented Palestinian worshipers from entering the area.
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of Islamic endowment and mosque affairs, told Ma'an that Israeli forces later withdrew from the compound and removed metal chains from mosque.
Israeli police will prevent rightists from entering the area on Wednesday, al-Khatib added.
On Tuesday, Israeli police closed the al-Aqsa compound to non-Muslim visitors.
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.
According to mainstream religious leaders, Jews are forbidden from entering for fear they would profane the "Holy of Holies" the inner sanctum of the Second Temple.
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