Dozens injured in third night of al-Aqsa mosque protests

Palestinians call for 'Day of Rage' as dozens injured in third night of al-Aqsa protests
2 min read
19 July, 2017
Israeli lawmakers, Palestinian politicians and religious leaders have all called for the mosque's new metal detectors to be removed, after three days of violent protest against their introduction.
Israeli border guards arrest a Palestinian youth outside al-Aqsa mosque on July 17 [AFP]
Dozens of Palestinian worshippers were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in Jerusalem's old city on Tuesday night.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 34 people injured during a third night of protests over the introduction of metal detectors to the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque.

Israeli soldiers, armed with automatic rifles, fired rubber bullets into the crowd and beat protesters with sticks.

Footage has emerged of women and children running away from the violence amid multiple flashbang explosions.

Palestinian leaders have called for the removal of the new security measures, following criticisms they limit access to worship.

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Saturday the gates gave Israel "almost complete control over what goes on" in the compound.

On Monday night, 50 Palestinians, including four Red Crescent workers, were treated for wounds received at al-Asbat Gate by Israeli soldiers.

Hundreds of people continued their protest on Wednesday morning by holding their prayers as close to the mosque as possible without going through the security checks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas joined calls for a 'Day of Anger' on Wednesday against the introduction of the new security measures, fitted on Sunday.

Mosque directors and religious leader have all called for a boycott against the new checks after the mosque compound reopened.

"We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government," Sheikh Omar Kiswani, al-Aqsa director, told reporters on Monday.

"We will not enter through these metal detectors."

Israeli authorities closed the al-Aqsa compound down on Friday after five people were shot – the first time the mosque was closed for prayers in 48 years.

Three Palestinian gunmen were shot and killed after they gunned down two Israeli Druze police officers on Friday, triggering reprisal attacks and arrests by Israeli forces in Palestinian territories.

Israeli lawmakers from the Joint Arab List visited the site on Tuesday evening, calling for the removal of the metal detectors.

"We who seek peace and not war call on Netanyahu to immediately cancel the decision and return the situation to what it was before – to allow freedom of worship without any limits," said MKs Ahmad Tibi and Osama Sa'adi in a statement.