TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Israeli troopers stormed al-Aqsa mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem (al-Quds) and carried out arrests on Friday in what police described as a pursuit of youths who had lobbed rocks and fireworks during clashes with its forces outside.
The raid came as medics in Gaza said Israeli army gunfire killed two people – including a boy – during a weekly border protest, Reuters reported.
Police put the number of arrests at 24, and said four of its officers were injured in the melee. Palestinian authorities said dozens of people were hurt by Israeli police stun grenades.
“The continued Israeli attacks against occupied Jerusalem will increase tensions and will drag the region into a religious war that we have long warned against,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s office said in a statement.
Al Aqsa compound was among areas Israel occupied in the 1967 war.
In Gaza, medics said a man and a 14-year-old boy were killed and dozens wounded by army fire, bringing to 154 the Palestinian death toll during demonstrations to demand rights to land occupied by Israel in the 1948 war of its founding.
The dead man, 43-year-old Ghazi Abu Mustafa, was brought to a hospital tent staffed by his wife, a medic, who collapsed when she discovered him among the casualties, her colleagues said.
Tensions have been running high near the fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of the protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
The clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israeli fire has taken the lives of more than 150 Palestinians since March 30.
More than 14,800 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, of whom at least 360 are reportedly in critical condition.