Tension grows in Jerusalem after Israeli crackdown in Al Aqsa

Published October 15th, 2014 - 12:15 GMT

At least 10 Palestinians suffocated by tear gas and four others were arrested on Wednesday after Israeli police sustained its three-day long crackdown on Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, said WAFA correspondent.

The uproar began when Israeli police prevented Palestinians of all ages from entering the compound to pray, while allowed Jewish settlers to enter the holy site.
Police permitted dozens of Israeli settlers to break through the compound to perform religious rituals to observe the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, provoking worshipers who were denied entry. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians assembled at the gates and in the adjacent alleys in an attempt to break the Israeli siege.

Police guards fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards the protesting worshipers at al-Asbat Gate, suffocating 10 at least. Another group of protesters gathered at Hetta Gate, where a woman suffered severe suffocation due to tear gas inhalation.

The protesters, after waiting for hours, chanted slogans and demanded the police to step aside. Protestors entered the compound after the settlers left it.

Among the protesters were religious figures, Israeli Knesset Arab members, and other political figures who arrived from multiple towns and areas across Palestine.

The protesters marched through Al Aqsa Mosque compound in a triumphant manner, chanting slogans and calling for the Mosque’s protection.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, called upon the Palestinian people to join a one-day campaign to protect Al Aqsa against the continuing Israeli violations.

He warned against further Israeli violations, noting that many police guards are still stationed at al-Asbat Gate, which could infuse more tension.

The latest offensive continues with a surge of recurrent tension erupting almost at this time of the year, when Jewish extremists celebrate Jewish holidays by organizing provocative visits to the compound. 

Last Monday, dozens of worshipers were injured and others suffocated by tear gas fired by Israeli police, who raided the Mosque in large numbers and chased the protesters towards the southern main building.

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