JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes broke out early Wednesday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police officers, leaving dozens hurt, sources said.
Security guards at the mosque told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the compound at 7:30 a.m. ahead of expected visits by right-wing Israelis on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles.
Israeli forces forcibly removed worshipers, attacking some of them with clubs, the guards said.
Some Muslim worshipers clashed with Israeli officers in the compound before managing to take refuge inside the mosque.
As worshipers threw stones, soldiers fired tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets, injuring dozens of Palestinians, Al-Aqsa Mosque director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani said.
Some of the stun grenades were fired into the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself, causing a fire to break out, and fire fighters were not immediately allowed access to the area, al-Kiswani added.
"The compound is almost empty of Muslim worshipers, while Israeli forces allowed herds of extremists to storm it and move freely," he said.