Israel storms Al-Aqsa: Palestinian worshippers attacked, removed to make way for Israeli settlers

Israel storms Al-Aqsa: Palestinian worshippers attacked, removed to make way for Israeli settlers
Live Story
18 April, 2022

Heavily armed Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa mosque on Monday, forcing Palestinian worshippers out of the prayer halls and the mosque's courtyards to make way for Jewish settlers.

Local sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that some 200 of Jewish settlers entered the compound within an hour, protected by Israeli forces. 

Knesset members from the right-wing Religious Zionist Party led an incursion into the holy site from Damascus Gate to mark the start of the Jewish Passover holiday, intimidating Palestinian worshippers during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, two Palestinians were seriously injured after Israeli forces stormed the town of Yamoun to the west of the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank and shot them in the head, neck and back.

They have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, according to local sources.

The New Arab is providing live updates of what's been happening on the ground from the occupied West Bank.

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6:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's live coverage of the latest from Israel's violence against worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque and compound concludes for today.

Join us tomorrow for the latest updates from the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

Make sure to follow our TwitterFacebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest news and analysis.

5:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Settlers set date for provocative flag march

Israeli settlers say they plan to hold a flag march on Wednesday around the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, according to Israeli media.

The flag marches are carried out by extremist settlers who often chant provocative slogans and attack Palestinians and their property.

Israeli extremists on the march chanted racist slogans including "Death to Arabs" as they paraded through the Old City.

The march is meant to celebrate Israel’s capture of Palestinian East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, which Israel has occupied in violation of international law ever since.

Palestinian factions have previously denounced the march as a provocation and an insult.

Flag day Israel - Getty
Flag marches are often violent and planned by extremist settlers [Getty]
5:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian injured in Nablus

Occupying Israeli forces assaulted and abused a young man in the town of Sebastia, northwest of Nablus while they were securing the area to allow settlers to storm the archaeological site.

4:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel closes Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers

Israel has closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron to make room for an illegal settler organisation to hold a music concert outside.

Meanwhile, Hamas called on Palestinians West Bank to mobilise "to prevent the tampering of the occupation and its violations that extend from Al-Aqsa Mosque to the Ibrahimi Mosque in defense of our sanctities, our identity and our cultural and religious heritage in blessed Palestine."

Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque is believed to be the burial site of the prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and where both Muslims and Jews worship.

3:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

'There will be consequences': Jordan

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned Israel to stop the settler incursions at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"If Israel does not stop its violations and illegal measures, it will bear the responsibility for the outrage that will come", he said in a statement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Jordan's King Abdullah about the latest developments in Palestine with special attention to the occupied city of Jerusalem which Israeli settlers are conducting daily incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli forces.

3:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

Vladimir Putin talks Ukraine war, Al-Aqsa raids with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas on Monday to discuss Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to Palestinian state media.

Putin said he rejected "Israeli practices that prevent worshipers from freely accessing Al-Aqsa Mosque."

The Russian president "stressed Russia's firm position to support the rights of the Palestinian people, and that Russia will continue to provide its political support to the Palestinian cause in all international forums".

On Russia's ongoing invasion and assault on Ukraine, Putin told Abbas that he "will make all efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the Ukrainian crisis".

Live Story
2:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jenin 'awaiting death' of Palestinian shot in Jenin

The situation in Jerusalem and Jenin has calmed since this morning, but the aftershock of the two attacks can still be felt.

One of the two Palestinians who were shot by Israeli forces in Jenin is in critical condition and is not expected to make it out alive, Mohammad Abul Haijah, a Fatah secretary, told The New Arab's West Bank correspondent Qassam Muaddi.

"Lutfi Al-Labadi is in a very critical state. He received a bullet in the head. I spoke to the doctors at Ibn Sina hospital, and they told me that his heart had stopped during treatment, that he is unconscious, and that he has very little chance to survive", he said.

"The atmosphere at Yamoun is calm after the Israeli army withdrew, but the people are all expecting news of Al-Labadi’s death."

Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of Al-Aqsa compound, said while the attack may have calmed, sporadic attacks on Palestinians are still taking place.

"They lock those who are inside the mosque and don’t let them out, they fire rubber bullets and throw stun grenades at them from the windows, they let Israeli settlers into the compound to tour the compound and do prayers, then leave", he told The New Arab.

"They are not allowing anyone into Al-Aqsa compound who is younger than 45."

2:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli soldiers attack Palestinian journalists in Hebron

Israeli soldiers are blocking off Palestinian journalists while closing Bab Al-Zawiya area in central Hebron to support Israeli settlers.

Footage of Palestinian journalist Raed Sharif being harassed by occupying soldiers is circulating online.

Earlier Monday, dozens of heavily armed Israeli forces were deployed in the area.

Hebron is known to be an exceptionally hostile environment for Palestinian residents, due to the high concentration of settlers in the city.

The city is home to 200,000 Palestinians and 800 Jewish settlers who have occupied the city since Israel took control of the West Bank in 1967. 

2:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Analysis: Settlers decipher the scale of violence

Israeli settlers are who decide on the scale of violence during attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the police give them the protection they need, Jamal Amru, a Palestinian researcher on Jerusalem affairs, told The New Arab's West Bank correspondent Qassam Muaddi.

"I was at Al-Aqsa when the storming happened this morning. It was less violent towards the people in the compound, but more violent towards the mosque itself", he said.

"Today, the Israeli police systematically fired rubber bullets at the mosque’s windows and through them into the inside of the mosque, though this time they did not enter the mosque. I estimate that Israelí settlers are who decide the rhythm of the stormings and their degree of violence. The police only follows", he added.

He said Israeli ultra-religious settlers "are seeking to escalate things up to a religious war. These aggressions are leading to a major escalation of ‘either us or them’."

2:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Islamic Jihad threatens Israel over Al-Aqsa violations

The Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Ziad Al-Nakhala said that the aggression taking place in Jerusalem is "equivalent to aggression on our souls."

"The enemy's threats to stop the facilities in Gaza cannot make us remain silent about what is happening in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank", he said in a brief statement.

12:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces beating Palestinians filming Al-Aqsa incursion

Israeli forces have been harassing Palestinians filming the violent storming of Al-Aqsa mosque, local activists say.

"On Sunday, I was filming the storming of Al-Aqsa compound by Israelí settlers when the Israelí police began to force Palestinians out of the compound. They pushed and beat me with the police sticks", Mohammad Abbu Humus, an activist from Jerusalem told The New Arab's West Bank correspondent.

"On Monday morning, I arrived at Al-Aqsa compound entrance at around 7:00 am. The Israeli police didn’t allow anyone else in, until the settlers' storming was over," Abbu Humus said.

He added that he was only allowed through at 11:30 am (local time) when settlers were leaving.

"Worshipers who were locked in the mosque during the storming had begun to come out, and were cleaning the courtyards."

Jewish settlers about to raid Al-Aqsa mosque compound [Getty]
12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel upscales administrative detentions

The number of Palestinian administrative detainees held by Israel has shot up from around 500 to 650 in a matter of weeks, according to the Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission.

The committee said Israel increased its administrative detention orders in March and April, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem.

12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian party 'suspends' itself from Israel government over Al-Aqsa violence

The Palestinian Raam party on Sunday "suspended" its participation in Israel's coalition government, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, after Israeli forces twice raided occupied East Jerusalem's holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Bennett took office last June after painstaking efforts to cobble together a coalition able to topple Israel's longest-serving premier Benjamin Netanyahu, creating a razor-thin majority of 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.

The coalition, a mix of left-of-centre, hardline Jewish nationalist and religious parties as well as Raam, has both deep ideological divides. It now has 60 seats - the same as the opposition.

On Sunday evening, Raam - which has four seats in Bennett's coalition - said it was "suspending" its support, two days after Israeli forces attacked Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, leaving 150 people wounded.

"If the government continues its steps against the people of Jerusalem... we will resign as a bloc," it said in a statement.

The party's withdrawal from Bennett's administration will not immediately impact the government, as the Knesset is in recess until 5 May.

11:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

Police commander storms Al-Aqsa

Yaakov Shabtai, the Commander in Chief of Israel's police force, arrived early in the morning at East Jerusalem's Western Wall, Al-Buraq Wall in Arabic, to perform a religious ceremony, Israeli media reported,

He accompanied the right-wing Religious Zionist Party, which plans to carry out the same ritual on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

11:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hebron braces for settler incursion

Dozens of heavily armed Israeli forces are being deployed at the Bab Al-Zawiya area in the centre of the occupied city of Hebron, known as al-Khalil in Arabic. Locals are expecting settlers to storm the area.

Two Palestinian men were shot in the area after heavily armed Israeli forces stormed it late on Sunday.

Hebron is known to be an exceptionally hostile environment for Palestinian residents, due to the high concentration of settlers in the city.

The city is home to 200,000 Palestinians and 800 Jewish settlers who have occupied the city since Israel took control of the West Bank in 1967. 

10:44 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hundreds of Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa compound

A statement by the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said that 561 settlers took part in today's attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the protection of special forces from the Israeli police.

The endowment added that Palestinians journalists covering the incursion were banned from doing so by being refused entry and forcibly escorted away from the site.

9:39 AM
The New Arab Staff

Community cleanup after settler withdrawal

The Mourabitoun, a group of Palestinian men and women who were designated to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque, started a community cleanup after Israeli settlers finished their storming of the holy site.

Settlers had violently stormed Al-Aqsa's courtyards on Monday morning and vandalised the site. They were recorded chanting insults at Palestinians such as Nakba, which means catastrophe in Arabic and the name of the exodus in the 1940s that led to the creation of Israel.

The settlers also taunted Palestinians by chanting the name of Mohammed Abu-Khdeir, a child who was killed and burned alive in Jerusalem by Israeli settlers in 2014.

9:28 AM
The New Arab Staff

Six Palestinians injured in Jenin

The Palestinian Red Crescent announced that Israeli forces injured six Palestinians this morning in Jenin's Yamoun and Kafr Adhan towns.

Four of whom were struck with live bullets.

9:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian man 'on brink of death' after two were shot by Israeli forces in Jenin

Two Palestinian men were seriously wounded, when the Israeli occupation forces stormed the town of Al-Yamoun, west of Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank on Monday morning.

Medical sources said the two Palestinians arrived at Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin, and were immediately admitted to the operating theatre to treat bullets they took to their head, neck and back.

One of the wounded is in critical condition and is currently fighting for his life

The shootings came as Israeli forces stormed and opened fire at Palestinians after storming Al-Yamoun.  

The two young men who threw stones at the occupying soldiers were pictured lying on the ground after being shot.

They were then detained before they were taken by Palestinian ambulances for treatment.

8:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian worshippers forcibly evacuated as Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa compound

Around 200 settlers in the space of an hour set out to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque compound with the backing of Israeli forces on Monday morning. Palestinian worshippers who were caught inside the Mosque were attacked and people in the courtyards were forcefully evacuated.

Local sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in four groups of around 50 settlers, meaning at least 200 settlers stormed the site within an hour.



The New Arab Staff