Israeli Police Storm Jerusalemís Al-Aqsa Mosque
Date Posted: Friday, April 02, 2004
were barring hundreds of people from getting out of the mosque, by blocking all
its doors, and initially prevented first aid paramedics from evacuating people
who had been wounded, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).
people were wounded during the brief siege, although no serious injuries were
reported. Fourteen Palestinians had been arrested by the time the standoff was
resolved, Israeli police said.
journalists were beaten up by police, with one of them having his camera broken
and film confiscated.
had taken refuge inside the mosque after clashing with police, who used teargas,
stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse rioters who had pelted Jewish
worshippers at the Wailing Wall below.
forces were sent in as police closed all access to the area, an AFP
correspondent outside the compound witnessed, adding that he saw four people
being ferried away by ambulance.
initial clashes, thousands of Palestinians barricaded themselves in two mosques
in the walled compound for about two hours before police agreed to let them
leave without threat of arrest, reports the Associated Press (AP).
Police spokesman Gil Kleiman told AFP "several hundred youths hurled stones. They then took refugee inside the mosque and continued throwing stones from inside."World Peace.
confirmed that police were deployed around the mosque. "We want to arrest
the trouble-makers inside."
Palestinian Authority condemned the police intervention as a
"provocation" by the Israeli authorities.
one threw stones," Adnan Husseini, director of the Islamic Waqf, told
Reuters news agency. "They [police] started doing this every Friday to
scare elderly worshippers as younger ones are already banned. This is flagrant
violation of freedom of worship."
prayers coincided with the second Friday after Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin was assassinated in an Israeli air strike in
demonstrations were organized throughout the
Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation erupted in September 2000 after
a controversial visit to the mosque compound by then Israeli opposition leader
and current prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Al-Aqsa compound is Islam's third holiest site, which Muslims call al-Haram al-Sharif
(Noble Sanctuary). The site is known by Jews as the
the Israeli army continued operations in the Gaza Strip, where it staged an
overnight incursion that left a Palestinian dead, Palestinian medical sources
Israeli army spokesman said the raid was aimed at destroying tunnels used by
Palestinian militias to smuggle arms from
said the boys were all high-school students, aged between 16 and 17, and were
not known for their political activism or affiliation.
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