#AlAqsaUnderAttack: After a week of Israeli raids, total number of injured Palestinians remains 'unknown'

#AlAqsaUnderAttack: After a week of Israeli raids, total number of injured Palestinians remains 'unknown'
Israeli settlers began storming Al-Aqsa in large numbers last Friday when the Jewish Passover began. Israeli police have announced they will not allow settlers into the compound starting from this Friday until the end of Ramadan.
4 min read
West Bank
21 April, 2022
Over the week, Israeli police have violently evacuated Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa compound to make way for Israeli settlers. [Getty]

After five days in a row in which Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli security forces, aggressively entered the Al-Aqsa compound, the number of Palestinians who have been arrested or injured is unknown, local sources told The New Arab on Thursday.

For allegedly the last time this year, Israeli settlers backed by the Israeli security forces stormed into the Al-Aqsa compound during the early hours of Thursday morning. 

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that twenty Palestinians were injured by the Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa compound on Thursday morning as the Israeli settlers were allowed into the premises.

ِAccording to the Red Crescent, injuries were caused either by rubber bullets or by physical beatings. Eight of the injured were hit in the head and neck, while five others are currently hospitalised.

Mohammad Abu Humus, a Palestinian activist documenting the abuses and violations at the Al-Aqsa compound, told The New Arab that "the number of injured is much higher because the Red Crescent only counts the cases its medical teams directly treat."

"Many people did not report themselves to the medical teams in the compound or outside. Many prefer not to go to any hospital or clinic because they fear that they will be arrested by the Israeli police," he noted.

"The Israeli police forced Palestinians out of the compound and hundreds had to perform the dawn prayer outside the compound's gates," said Abu Humus.

"Israeli police also closed access to Jerusalem's old city just as the settlers forcibly entered the compound," he added. 

Israeli police also arrested seven Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa, accusing them of throwing stones, Israeli media reported.

"Throughout the week, Israeli police arrested dozens of Palestinians, some outside of the compound," Amjad Abu Asab, the spokesperson for Jerusalem's detainees' families' committee, told The New Arab.

"Some were arrested as they left the compound, like a school teacher and two of his students on Wednesday, and six young men who were trying to enter the compound at the Hatta gate on Tuesday," he added.

Abu Asab also pointed out that "the number of detainees remains unknown" since the committee "has not been able to contact all the lawyers involved in handling the spike in detention renewal orders by Israeli courts in the city."

Israeli settlers' began storming the Al-Aqsa compound last Friday, with the start of the Jewish Passover and the beginning of the second half of Ramadan.

On the first day of the violations by Israeli settlers, about 400 Palestinians were arrested inside Al-Aqsa mosque and more than 150 Palestinians were injured by the Israeli police forcibly evacuating the compound to prepare for the Israeli settlers' tour of the site.

On Tuesday, the Israeli police announced a halt in allowing settlers to enter the compound until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. A decision that has been repeated in recent years.

On Wednesday, Israeli police stopped a far-right Israeli settlers "Flag March" from reaching the Damascus gate. Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir later established an improvised office about 100 meters away from the Damascus gate.

Israeli prime minister Neftali Bennet criticized Ben Gvir's move, accusing him of provoking confrontations and "making Israeli forces' already hard job even harder."

Later on Wednesday, Israeli police arrested a 28-year-old Palestinian woman in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah, after attacking a collective Iftar that was being held in the neighbourhood.

Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa came at the heels of two weeks of Israeli armed incursions in the West Bank, in which around 20 Palestinians were killed.

Later on Thursday, a US delegation is expected to arrive in Ramallah and meet officials of the Palestinian Authority to discuss ways in defusing the situation in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The delegation includes the US envoy for Israel-Palestine affairs, Hadi Amru, and the US secretary of state's assistant, Yael Lambert.