On Sunday, Palestinians witnessed yet another attack on the holy Mosque of Aqsa as Israeli forces stormed in with tear gases and rubber-coated steel bullets at worshippers. The attack took place just two days prior to Eid al-Adha.
The Israeli forces evacuated the Mosque for some Jewish visitors, attacking the praying Muslims in their way. Videos of Muslim women being attacked and manhandled by the Israeli soldiers emerged on social media after which the world took notice and condemned the attack.
Last night, Israeli Occupation Forces brutalized Palestinians, teargassed worshippers, shot bullets inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, beat women, and violated every moral and international rule there is, while armed Zionist settlers roamed free. Here is an infuriating thread… pic.twitter.com/oRwEjx8e0c
— Mohammed El-Kurd (@m7mdkurd) July 18, 2021
The entrance of the old city was forcibly closed earlier in the day. Damascus Gate is one of the only, if not the only, remaining public spaces for Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem.
Pakistan’s foreign office has condemned the attack and has urged international human rights organizations to take prompt action to protect the Palestinians.
Pakistan condemns the recent violent attacks carried out by Israeli Occupation Forces on the worshippers & the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied territories and urges the int’l community for prompt action to protect the Palestinians.
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) July 18, 2021
The official European delegation for Palestine has also expressed their reservations over ongoing tensions around the Haram Al-Sharif and has called out the Israeli authorities in charge to take action to calm down the situation.
Concerned over ongoing tensions around the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Acts of incitement have to be avoided and the status quo respected. Israeli authorities, religious, and community leaders from all sides should act urgently to calm down this explosive situation.
— EU and Palestinians (@EUpalestinians) July 18, 2021
Palestinians Authority (PA) that governs part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank also released a statement saying that the Israeli government is fully responsible for the attacks taking place in Masjid Al Aqsa. The Jewish visits were called a “threat” to the security and stability of the area.
However, the Israeli police claims that the Palestinian youth started throwing stones at the police situated at the Temple Mount, who dispersed them with using force.
The governing group of the Gaza strip Hamas, called on the Palestinians to make their way to Jerusalem, and to remain in Masjid Al-Aqsa’s compound until Eid al-Adha prayers.
Israel’s newly elected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett released an official statement saying that Jewish visitors “continue, while maintaining order at the site”.
He also ensured that the “freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will be fully preserved for Muslims as well” on account of Eid Al Azha.
Israeli visitors have increased to the holy site since Sunday was also the Jewish festival of Tisha B’Av. Jews fast on the day in remembrance of the disasters that occurred in Jewish history, primarily the destruction of both Solomon’s Temple by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in the Siege of Jerusalem, and the Second Temple by the Roman Empire in Jerusalem.
Israeli media reported more than 1,000 Israelis walked through the Jerusalem plaza on Sunday amongst which most were religious Jews, some with children in tow, who toured the site under heavy police guard to mark the Tisha B’Av fast day.