World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday morning and fired teargas and rubber bullets at Palestinians inside, eyewitnesses said.
"The Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through Al-Magharbeh Gate and Selsela Gate, and surrounded the worshipers in Al-Qibali Mosque inside the complex," an eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency.
The clashes came as parliament was to debate a bill calling for Israeli sovereignty over the compound, Islam's third-holiest site, which is currently administered by Jordan. There was "high tension" ahead of discussions expected in the Israeli parliament later Tuesday of a plan to annex the site.
Clashes erupted when the Israeli forces fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at the worshippers who responded by throwing stones, he added.
At least 30 Palestinians suffered temporary asphyxiation due to the excessive use of teargas by Israeli soldiers. Three Palestinians were also arrested during the clashes, the eyewitnesses said.
Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper said that three Israeli policemen were injured by stones.
Dozens of Palestinians stayed the night inside the holy compound after Jewish extremist groups called to break into the site and raise the Israeli flags on the Dome of the Rock Mosque.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have stepped up their intrusions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the world's third holiest site for Muslims.
The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by then opposition politician Ariel Sharon triggered what later became known as the "Second Intifada" – a popular uprising in which thousands of Palestinians were killed and injured.
Israel occupied Al-Quds during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
1,720 Israelis stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2014
A total of 1,720 Israelis stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) since the start of 2014, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said.
In a Monday statement, the foundation said that 1,061 Israelis, including 645 Jewish settlers, stormed the compound in January.
The foundation went on to say that some 659 Israeli stormed the holy site in February.
Israeli officials could not be reached for comment.Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2014, 14:27