Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa compound, attack worshippers

JERUSALEM - Israeli policemen on Monday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, and fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinian worshippers inside the holy site, a Palestinian guard of the site said, Anadolu reported.

The attack came to open room for Jewish settlers to force their way into the holy site on the Jewish anniversary of the so-called `destruction of the temple,' which would fall on Tuesday.

"Dozens of Israeli policemen stormed Al-Aqsa compound through Al-Magharbeh Gate and attacked worshippers at Al-Qebali Mosque inside the complex," the guard told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media.

"The Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in a bid to force the worshippers out," he said, adding that the worshippers responded by hurling the Israeli troops with stones and shoes. No injuries have yet been reported, he said.

Tension continues to run high in the occupied West Bank amid Israel's devastating onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The Israeli operation in Gaza has left at least 1821 Palestinians (mostly civilians) dead and 9420 injured.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming Jerusalem as the unified capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.


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