Israeli Police storm Al-Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers; fragile ceasefire holds

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Jerusalem [Israel], May 22, (ANI): Israeli police stormed into Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem and fired tear gas at Palestinians who threw rocks and bombs at the officers after Friday prayers.

This came hours after a ceasefire brokered by Egypt was reached in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian extremist group Hamas who had been engaged in clashes for the past 11 days, in which both sides targeted each other with rockets.

At noon, thousands of Palestinians gathered in the tree-lined compound surrounding the mosque for Friday prayers. Many stayed on to demonstrate in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, cheering and waving Palestinian flags, reported Dawn.

An Israeli police spokesman said that some of the gathered Palestinians gathered threw stones and petrol bombs towards officers who had been stationed along with the compound's gates. The police officers responded by using stun grenades to chase away protesters who had thrown stones and fireworks at them, the spokesman said.

The confrontations died down within about an hour, with Israeli police retreating to their positions at the compound's gates.

According to the New York times across the West Bank, Israeli soldiers used rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse Palestinians demonstrating after Friday prayers. The daily quoted the Red Crescent as saying that, in all, 97 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank and Jerusalem on Friday.

Meanwhile, Israel's foreign diplomat Riyad al-Maliki an exclusive interview with Aljazeera news said: "There are no guarantees at all. No guarantees at all. Because Israel proclaims that the ceasefire is unilateral. That they have taken that decision on their own."

The Security Cabinet of Israel approved a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip from 2 am on Friday (23:00 GMT on Thursday). Both sides have been firing rockets at each other, leading to 217 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead. (ANI)

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