UN condemns Al-Aqsa violence after 200 Israeli troops storm compound
Israeli forces clash with Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, September 13, 2015. (AFP/File)
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A senior UN official has expressed concern over the recent violence in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), where Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“I encourage all to stand firmly against incitement and violence,” especially during the Jewish New Year holidays and ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha, said the UN Special Coordinator for Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, in a Sunday statement.
This comes in the wake of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the mosque.
On Monday, more than 200 Israeli soldiers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, firing rubber bullets and tear gas at Palestinians. A number of Palestinians were wounded in the clash.
Also on Sunday, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa compound after the regime’s forces attempted to force Palestinian worshipers out of the mosque while expanding the military deployment in the yard of the holy site for the Jewish Rosh Hashanah New Year holiday.
According to Palestinian sources, Israeli regime forces stormed the mosque and inflicted damage on the compound. Dozens of worshippers sustained suffocation injuries from tear gas as well as injuries from rubber bullets fired by Israeli forces.
A fire was also reportedly ignited in another mosque adjacent to the Al-Aqsa compound.
The Israeli move was strongly censured by Palestinian authorities, including President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Tel Aviv regime often imposes restrictions on access of Muslim worshipers to the holy site on the first days of Rosh Hashanah.
Palestinians have complained that the Israeli regime is planning to change the status quo of al-Quds in a bid to Judaize the city, which was occupied and annexed by Israel in 1967.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, located in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint holy Islamic site.
Al-Aqsa mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia.