Israeli forces raided Al Aqsa Mosque during the tarawih prayers, forcefully removing people from the Mosque. The raid went on into the morning with several killed and injured.
Jerusalem, April 7th, 2023, Friday: Israeli forces raided Al Aqsa Mosque during the tarawih prayers. The raid went on into the morning. They assaulted dozen of worshippers who tried to enter the mosque through the Bab Hatta Gate for Fajr prayer. The clashes began at dawn and the Israeli forces also attacked the stall owners and vendors in the area. Images are circulating of Israeli soldiers dragging and beating the worshippers to get them out of the mosque.
Friday prayers took place at Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem amid the police obstacles placed by the Israeli forces that restrict the number of worshippers entering the mosque.
According to the Islamic Awqaf Department in Jerusalem, more than 130,000 worshippers offered prayers at Al-Aqsa on the third Friday of Ramadan. The Israeli forces closed the main entry point and deployed over 2300 soldiers at the gates of Al-Aqsa and the Old City. After the prayer a banner was seen displayed at Aqsa that read “Do not test our patience; Al-Aqsa is a red line.”
Al-Haram al-Sharif hosts Islam’s third-holiest site, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, which is believed to be where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The Jews call the compound “Temple Mount” and believe the Biblical Jewish temple once stood there. The compound has been a source of tension for decades.
Many news agencies such as Al Jazeera, and Arab News reported on Israeli brutality. They asked the worshippers inside the area about the situation to which people responded, “The police always attack with brutality to prevent people from staying in the mosque,” Amir Maragha, a 29-year-old from Silwad neighborhood, told.
Bakr Owais, a 24-year-old student who was present at that time when Israeli forces raided the mosque. He told the reporters that Israeli soldiers stood on the roof of the mosque and used a loudspeaker to tell the worshippers to leave the mosque or else they will remove them by force.
“They broke the windows of the mosque and started throwing stun grenades at us. There were young children, elderly men, and women stuck inside,” Owais told Al Jazeera.
“Another group came through a door and started firing tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated bullets at the people. They attacked the people, beating them on the head with sticks … people fainted, people suffocated, and people were bleeding. Then they started arresting us. Huge numbers of people were taken. They kept swearing at us the whole time, pushing us onto buses that took us to the police station in Atarot where we were made to lie on the floor with our hands cuffed behind us.”
“There must have been 400, 500 detainees. They took our names, then put a sticker on us with our name and number and called us in by the number, like we were worthless,” he said.