Occupation Violates Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem: 305 Palestinians Wounded, Including 8 Journalists and Several Paramedics .. 7 Deemed Critical
Date: 10 May 2021
Time: 15:00 GMT
On Monday, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) violated al-Aqsa Mosque and its facilities, suppressed, and assaulted Palestinian worshipers and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets inside the Mosque and in its yards. As a result, 305 Palestinians, including 8 journalists, were wounded- 7 were deemed in critical condition. This serious escalation came only a few hours before a planned demonstration by thousands of Israeli settlers in Bab al-‘Amoud area and near al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), following Fajr prayer, on Monday, 10 May 2021, thousands of Palestinian worshipers gathered in al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards and facilities in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to counter Israeli settlers, who called for a packed demonstration to commemorate the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, according to the Hebrew calendar. At approximately 08:19, Chief of Israel Police ordered a large force to raid al-Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to facilitate the entry of Israeli settlers, who were gathering in Bab al Magharibah, into the Mosque. Afterwards, IOF moved into al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards and its facilities via Bab al Magharibah and Bab al Silsilah amid heavy firing of rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs for 4 consecutive hours.
During that time, Israeli snipers topped al-Aqsa Mosque’s western roofs, in addition to al-Qibli Mosque’s roof, and then raided the Mosque, assaulted Palestinian worshipers, and fired rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, dozens of Palestinians, old and young, men and women, who were detained inside the Mosque sustained wounds. Also, IOF prevented medical and paramedics crew from providing first aid for the wounded. Moreover, IOF assaulted and severely beat worshipers present in the Old, El-Marwani, Bab al-Rahma and Dome of the Rock Mosques, fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at them and surrounded them inside these mosques. Additionally, IOF raided the Islamic Endowment (Awqaf) offices and expelled its employees, in addition to the fire station office, and welded the medical clinic doors shut to impede the provision of treatment for the wounded civilians.
All of the al-Aqsa Mosque Gates, particularly Bab Huta, Bab al Asbat and Bab al Silsilah, witnessed violent clashes after Israeli forces were reinforced with backups as the clashes at al-Aqsa Mosque intensified. At Bab al Asbat, IOF assaulted paramedics while the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s crews were transporting the injured, wounding several of them with rubber bullets and banned others entry into the Mosque to transport the wounded to the ambulances and
hospitals. In the midst of the violent clashes inside the Mosque, an armed Israeli settler ran-over Palestinian civilians with his vehicle on the outskirts of Bab al Asbat, injuring several ones; then stepped out of the vehicle and started shooting at them while protected by an Israeli police officer who kept away angered Palestinian youth.
According to PRCS, IOF’s attacks at approximately 13:00 resulted in the injury of 305 Palestinians, including 7 seriously injured, in al-Aqsa Mosque and the vicinity of the Old City. PRCS stated that more than 228 injuries were referred to al-Makassed and Augusta Victoria “al-Mutale’a” hospitals in at-Tur neighborhood, Saint Joseph Hospital in al-Sheikh Jarrah and PRCS’s field hospital in al-Sowannah neighborhood. PRCS added that a number of paramedics were wounded with rubber bullets while rescuing those injured at al-Aqsa Mosque.
During the Israeli violence, which al-Aqsa Mosque has not witnessed for more than 20 years, 8 journalists were wounded while covering the incidents at the mosque; most with rubber bullets, and were identified as: Maisaa’ Abu Ghazaleh, Mohammed Abu Sneineh, Lewaa’ Rmeileh, Mohammed Jaradat, Eithar Abu Gharbiyeh, Fatmah al-Bakri, Rami al-Khatib, and Osayd ‘Amarneh.
The incidents are expected to get worse tonight as the settlers’ march would reach the peak. IOF closed all occupied Jerusalem’s streets and denied Palestinians’ movement, preparing for settlers’ march that will be organized near Bab al-‘Amoud, on Salah al-Deen Street and al-Wad Street and in the Islamic neighborhood on the way to the Buraq Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.
PCHR strongly condemns IOF’s desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque, which has a special status among Palestinians and all Muslims. PCHR condemns use of force during IOF’s suppression of the worshippers and sound-bomb firing inside al-Aqsa mosque and its prayer places and denounces obstruction of medical crews’ work and directly targeting them.
PCHR emphasizes that all these Israeli measures are illegal and fall under a genuine policy by the Israeli authorities against the occupied City of Jerusalem and its institutions since its occupation in June 1967 that aims at changing its features in favor of more settlement expansion and create a Jewish majority to impose new reality that would rule out the Palestinians’ right in it.
PCHR asserts that East Jerusalem is an occupied city and that no measures taken by the occupation authorities since the 1967 occupation can change its legal status as an occupied territory.
PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances as per the Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions. PCHR believes that there is a conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community that enables Israel to commit further violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the efforts to create a Jewish majority in occupied east Jerusalem.