Israeli Police Storm Palestinian Mosque And Fire Tear Gas At Palestinians Celebrating Ceasefire
Israeli police have stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Gaza Strip, firing stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinians who had been celebrating the recent ceasefire.
Dozens of Palestinian worshippers have been injured at the compound, which is in occupied East Jerusalem, following Friday prayers.
Around 20 people were wounded during the attack, according to a written statement from the Palestinian Red Crescent. Two of the injured were reportedly taken to a local hospital.
Micky Rosenfeld, spokesperson for the Israeli police, told the AFP news agency that Palestinians had thrown stones at police officers, leading them to respond with riot-suppressing measures.
In a statement, Rosenfeld said:
Hundreds of people threw rocks and petrol bombs at police officers who responded at the scene and began dispersing the rioters. Police units [are] at the scene.
As per The Independent, Palestinians had been holding a celebratory demonstration at Al-Aqsa at the time of the incident and waving Palestinian flags. According to this report, they had also thrown stones at police officers.
22-year-old student Yussef al-Hassan told The Independent:
This just shows what the Israelis are really like, they talk about peace but at the same time use violence against us.
This was a peaceful march. When we went to the dome it was surrounded by police, they started pushing us, and when we waved our national flag they used tear gas.
As reported by Al Jazeera, Palestinians in Gaza had reportedly flocked to the streets in jubilation following news of the ceasefire, which become effective at 2am local time.
Thousands of Palestinians left their homes, gathering together and chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’. Regarding the ceasefire as a victory, some fired rifles into the air while others sung and danced.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has today warned he will unleash ‘a new level of force’ if Hamas breaks this latest ceasefire, stating, ‘If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is wrong.’
He continued to remark that going forward, ‘The reality on the ground will determine the future of the campaign.’
The latest ceasefire came into effect early on Friday, May 21, following 11 days of fighting. During this period of increased tensions, more than 250 people died. The majority of those killed during the conflict were Palestinians, a number that included more than 100 women and children.
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