THE PALESTINIAN Presidential spokesman Abu Rudeineh yesterday morning called for urgent international intervention after Israeli police broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the al-Qibli prayer hall.
As he made his remarks, heavily-armed Israeli police beat Palestinian worshippers in a storming of the main prayer hall inside the mosque, forcing them to lie face down. Police fired teargas into the hall, smashed some of its windows and detained 400 people.
They used batons and tear gas to violently disperse hundreds of worshippers who gathered at the holy site before dawn for prayers, and clear the mosque’s courtyards. Police were seen beating journalists, women and elderly people.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said that its medics provided treatment to over 153 people, including journalists and medics, mostly with upper-body injuries, and transferred some 30 others to nearby hospitals.
The current crisis is a continuation of the 2021 Ramadan tensions, which culminated in the Israeli onslaught on Gaza and Hamas firing hundreds of missiles into Israel.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognised Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
The violence broke out at dawn on Friday when the occupation forces raided the al-Aqsa Mosque through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, firing sound bombs and rubber bullets at the worshippers randomly.
The Zionist regime has stepped up its deadly acts of aggression across Palestinian territories since the beginning of Ramadan. Some two dozen Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 22, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has already given Israeli forces a free hand to ‘defeat’ what he called ‘terror’ in the West Bank by any means necessary.
The clashes on Friday occurred just hours after another Palestinian was killed by the regime’s forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Palestine’s official Wafa news agency said 17-year-old Palestinian Shawkat Kamal Abed succumbed to his wounds a day after he was shot during an attack conducted by Israeli forces in Kafr Dan village, northwest of Jenin.
Announcing the death of Kamal Abed, the Palestinian Health Ministry said the latest fatality brought to seven the number of Palestinians killed across the occupied territory in less than 48 hours.
Tensions have escalated in the occupied land since last Thursday, when Palestinians launched a retaliatory attack in the heart of Israel, in Tel Aviv, as part of their resistance to the intensified Israeli crackdown. Since then, Israeli forces have been carrying out raids in different towns, especially in Jenin.
The attack was conducted when a Palestinian youth, identified as Raad Fathi Hazem, entered a pub on a crowded main street in Tel Aviv and began firing his weapon.
The 28-year-old, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, was killed by Israeli forces in a pre-dawn firefight near a mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.
Palestinian resistance groups and the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah hailed Hazem’s action as a ‘heroic operation.’
The Islamic Jihad resistance movement says the blood of Palestinians recently killed at the hands of Israeli military forces in the occupied West Bank, will lead to a full-scale confrontation with Israel.
Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesperson of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, said: ‘We salute our people in the occupied city of al-Quds and the Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque for defending this holy site and for their heroic confrontation with the Zionist occupation forces.’
He added: ‘Our people in al-Quds are not alone in their battle in the al-Aqsa Mosque, but the whole Palestinian nation and the heroic resistance groups, as well as their vigilant forces and children of the freedom-seeking nation, are by their side.’
The working class and the trade unions internationally, especially in the UK and the USA, must answer the Palestinian call and now intervene to support the Palestinians’ liberation struggle.
The trade unions must call general strikes to blockade and isolate Israel, to prevent it being rearmed, and support the sending of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to fight alongside the Palestinians to establish a state of Palestine where Arabs, Jews and Christians can live side by side in peace, prosperity and security.