Israeli forces withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque after 4-hour raid
More than 278 Palestinians injured in attacks by Israeli forces inside Al-Aqsa complex
Israeli forces withdrew from the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday after a 4-hour raid into the site, in which more than 278 Palestinian worshippers were injured.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondent, Israeli police reopened the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates shortly after their withdrawal from the site amid chants from jubilant Palestinians.
Israel police stormed the flashpoint compound early Monday and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by extremist Jews.
Thousands of Palestinians staged protests inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, after performing the dawn prayers there. The Palestinians then stayed there to guard the mosque against raids by extremist Jews.
Setting up barricades at some points of Haram al-Sharif, the main building of Al-Aqsa, they chanted slogans for the mosque and said they would not leave there.
Israeli police then raided the mosque and used tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades in clashes with the Palestinians, who responded by throwing stones.
Extremist Jews have called for storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday to celebrate the anniversary of the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, as "Jerusalem Day" according to the Hebrew calendar.
Extremist Jewish organizations had called for raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and Monday to mark the day.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.