Israeli forces brutally assault Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque

Israeli forces brutally assault Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque
Fourteen Palestinians were wounded and 20 detained after Israeli police attacked Muslim worshippers.
2 min read
28 February, 2022
Al-Aqsa mosque, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam. [Getty]

Israeli forces detained at least 20 Palestinians and assaulted worshippers who had gathered to celebrate a Muslim holiday on Monday at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, activists and local media reported

Fourteen Palestinians were wounded, including a child, and four were taken to hospital for treatment, the Palestinian Red Crescent announced on Monday evening, as they worshipped the Muslim festival of Al-Israa and Miraj.

Videos shared by Palestinians on social media showed Israeli forces throwing teargas and stun grenades into a crowd of worshippers, with many children and infants in the congregation, sparking panic.

One video showed an Israeli officer pushing a young woman to the ground and punching her, before dragging her away in a headlock with the help of other policemen.

Worshippers gathered near Al-Aqsa mosque - the third holiest site in Islam and the place from which Prophet Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven - on Monday to celebrate the Al-Israa and Miraj holiday.

Since Jerusalem became entirely occupied by Israel in 1967, the complex containing the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been repeatedly targeted by Israeli settlers, police and soldiers.

Abuses against Palestinian worshippers have intensified over the past months.

Israeli settlers routinely break into the complex during Friday prayers to attack the mosque and believers, with the tacit approval of Israeli forces stationed near the mosque.

In 2021, the complex was raided by over 34,500 Israelis according to Palestine's Waqf ministry, the authority responsible for Palestinian holy sites.

Al-Aqsa mosque has become a highly symbolic battleground crystallising tensions between Israeli settlers, who would like to claim all of Jerusalem, and Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The United Nations considers East Jerusalem occupied Palestinian land.