Reports confirmed that during the security backlash against Palestinian people in Al-Aqsa mosque, 200 Palestinians were injured.
Al-Aqsa mosque complex and the East Jerusalem have been the scene of violent encounter in recent weeks and more is expected to come.
Demonstrations erupted at the start of Islamic Ramadan month over security segregations against Palestinians in holding the religious rituals. The unrests have flared up again in recent days over the possibility of forced expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in the region.
The violence the complex exploded as thousands of worshippers were doing evening prayers at the sprawling hilltop esplanade. Israeli police assaulted in riot gear and mobilized in huge numbers to disperser the worshippers.
Huge crowds of demonstrators were seen throwing rocks during the night. Israeli forces used rubber bullets and stun grenades against the people. The police infiltrated the Al-Aqsa mosque and the famed golden Dome of the Rock to put the condition under control.
88 Palestinians were hospitalized as a result of injuries, the Red Crescent confirmed. Palestinian Health Ministry also said 83 people were injured by rubber-coated bullets. The condition of 7 protesters who were shot in the head was described critical.
In a statement made by the Israeli police, it is claimed that firing the protesters was a way to respond to stones thrown by the people: “All violent protests, demonstrations, and assaults on our troops will be met with a heavy hand.”
Considered Islam’s third holiest site, and Jew’s holiest site, the Al-Aqsa complex is located in Jerusalem. International conventions and treaties reserve the right for worship in the site for Palestinians and Israeli presence in the region is dubbed occupation.
The number of Muslim worshippers attending the prayers exceeded 70,000 ones, according to local officials. The prayers were followed by protests for the Palestinian rights of worshipping and living in the region. Demonstrators voiced support for Hamas group by waving green flags.
The clashes occurred simultaneously with international Al-Quds day. Founded by Iran, the day on the Last Friday of Ramadan marks the necessity of freedom for Palestine and urges the end of occupation.
Israel closed off a common meeting place where Palestinians are used to get together at the end of their daily fast early when the Islamic holy month started. Israel imposed the controls for two weeks before having to lift them.
However, demonstrations have erupted in Sheikh Jarrah, located in east Jerusalem, over Israel’s threat to expel scores of Palestinians who are entangled in a long legal fight with Israeli settlers seeking to buy land in the region.
The US expressed concern over the conflict as well as the looming illegal evictions, and said it was in touch with officials from both sides making attempt to find a resolution.
“It is critical to avoid steps that exacerbate tensions or take us farther away from peace. This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions, and acts of terrorism,” the U.S. Department of State remarked in a statement issued over the crisis.
The European Union encouraged restraint by both sides as well. The union described the evictions “illegal under international humanitarian law” and said the move “only help to exacerbate tensions on the ground.”
This is while the coming of sacred religious nights for both sides promises more tensions are on the way. Qadr Night (Night of Destiny, most sacred night in Ramadan) will be held on Saturday by Muslims, and Jerusalem day will set off on Sunday night.
During the 1967 six-day war, Israel took over east Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and Gaza, claimed by the Palestinians as their lands for future generations. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in violation of international laws. Tel Aviv calls Jerusalem, western and eastern, its capital while the move has not been recognized by international community.