09/14/2015, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Temple Mount clashes leave wounded and arrested

The Palestinian Authority condemns raid by Israeli security forces on al-Aqsa, coinciding with the Jewish New Year. Israel imposes closures and restrictions on the area to ensure the entry of settlers ahead of festivities. Palestinian youths had spent the night in the mosque to prevent entry of visitors.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has condemned the raid carried out by Israeli security forces on the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, and the violence perpetrated on the faithful.

In an official communique spokesman Nabil Abu Rdineh recalled that the Muslims (and Christians) holy places are "a red line”, adding that "we will not stand silent in the face of these attacks."

President of Mahmoud Abbas has contacted some leaders and global partners, such as Jordan and Morocco, to denounce and publicize  ongoing Israeli attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque.

The Palestinian Maan news agency reports that clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian youths erupted after the "closing" of the Temple Mount and "the imposition of restrictions to ensure the incursions of settlers to celebrate the Jewish New Year."

Local witnesses claim the agents "stormed the al-Aqsa mosque " with rubber coated steel bullets and deafening grenades.

According to an initial assessment more than a hundred people were wounded in the clashes, some of whom were admitted to hospitals in the city. The police have also arrested some Palestinians.

Tensions were already high from the early hours of yesterday when a group of settlers led by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture Ori Ariel entered the perimeter in front of the Muslim place of worship, the third most important in the world for Islam.

The unrest in the area - in the past the scene of clashes between Palestinian and Israeli - flared up a few hours before the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the religious New Year, one of three according to the Jewish calendar. Palestinian youths had spent the night inside the mosque armed with stones and Molotov cocktails, to bar entry to visitors.

Israeli forces stormed the Temple Mount through the Gate of the Chain and the Gate of the Moors immediately after the dawn prayer and surrounded the worshipers inside the Al-Aqsa mosque. In contrast, police sources say that police blocked access to the place of worship in response to the stones and fire bombs hurled by young Palestinians, in order to disrupt the arrival - in the evening - of Jewish visitors to the esplanade.

The organization responsible for the protection of religious property (WAQF), which has custody of the holy place, condemned the raid by the Israeli security,  from Jordan, the guardian of the holy place according to the status quo signed in 1967. WAQF spokesperson Firas al-Dibs, said that "the first time" that Israel "has evacuated all the guards".

For years, Jewish fundamentalists have set their sights on the Temple Mount as one of the places to "win back" to rebuild a new temple on the ruins of mosques and demand access to the site for prayer, which is currently prohibited.

In contrast, for Muslims it is sacred because it is the place where Muhammad ascended to heaven from the rock on the top of the mountain. Finally, the place is dear to Christians because  it is the site of  Jesus many visits to the temple that once stood there.

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