Israeli Soldiers Storm Al-Aqsa

Israeli Soldiers Storm Al-Aqsa Israeli Soldiers Storm Al-Aqsa

Clashes have erupted after a number of Israeli soldiers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Beit-ul-Moqaddas, police and witnesses said.

The Israeli security personnel used tear gas as they entered the compound to arrest what they called Palestinian “stone throwers”.

“Masked protesters who were inside the mosque threw stones and fireworks at police,” said a police statement, Al Jazeera reported.

A Muslim witness accused police of entering the mosque and causing damage, saying prayer mats were partially burned.

Clashes later continued outside the mosque complex, with police firing tear gas and stun grenades.

Israeli security forces closed the mosque’s compound to worshippers following the clashes that come just hours before the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

The disturbances came with tensions running high after Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon last week outlawed two Muslim groups from entering the mosque compound.

Israel seized east Beit-ul-Moqaddas, where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

The Al-Aqsa mosque is considered to be the third holiest place of worship for Muslims, with locals fiercely against Jews praying near the Noble Sanctuary, known to Jews as Temple Mount. The site, however, is also considered holy by the Jews.