Israeli police raided and expelled Palestinians from the Al-Aqsa mosque on Wednesday (5). Israeli authorities claim that the security forces’ action was necessary to expel “extremists” who had settled inside the mosque and were preventing access to the site.
According to the BBC, Palestinians settled in the mosque after information emerged that a Jewish extremist group intended to sacrifice a goat on the Temple Mount, nearby. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam and splits the top of the hill, which is sacred to Jews.
The most recent episode of violence took place during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims and the Passover holiday for Jews.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society says 50 people were injured and that there are critically ill Palestinians in Israeli custody.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the police acted to “maintain order and calm the situation on the Temple Mount”. “Israel is committed to maintaining freedom of worship, free access to all religions and the status quo on the Temple Mount, and will not allow violent extremists to change that,” he said.
Also according to the BBC, the mosque’s management claimed that Israeli police committed “a flagrant violation of the identity and function of the mosque as a place of worship for Muslims only”.
“We notify the occupation [Israel] not to cross the red lines at holy places, which will lead to the big explosion,” he said. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
The invasion of Al-Aqsa mosque by Israel in 2021 was a trigger for the 11-day eruption of violence between Israel and Palestine.
Editing: Patricia de Matos