Israeli police assault worshippers, close Al-Aqsa compound

English News

Mar 2019: Scuffles break out after Israeli police allege a firebomb was thrown at their post inside the holy compound.

Israeli forces have closed all entrances to occupied East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosquecomplex amid ongoing confrontation with Palestinian worshippers, a Palestinian official has said.

“Dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound and assaulted several religious figures,” Firas al-Dibs, spokesperson for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency tasked with overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian sites, said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to al-Dibs, Al-Aqsa Mosque’s Director Omar Kiswani and Sheikh Wasef al-Bakri, the acting supreme judge of Jerusalem’s Islamic Courts, were among those assaulted by Israeli police.

He said baton-wielding police attacked dozens of Muslim worshippers near the Al-Aqsa compound’s Dome of the Rock.

“At least five Palestinians were arrested before being taken into custody for further investigation,” al-Dibs said.

Reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said the Israeli police claim a “Molotov cocktail was thrown towards a police building” inside the compound.

“We’ve heard from Palestinian sources inside saying that it may instead have been firework. What took place afterwards was some fairly obvious scuffling between the Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers,” Fawcett said, adding that gates into the Old City have been closed.

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