On Sunday, Israeli policemen escorted around 50 Jewish civilians to the flashpoint holy site at Jerusalem where, according to the Islamic Authority, the police force’s action has caused protest and destruction in the Gaza region. Young Palestinians were barred from entering the mosque below the age of 45, the Waqf police says. They further added that those (Muslims) entering the mosque were required to show their id to the police at the entrance. Three people including a guard were arrested for violating this rule.
However, Israeli spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld refuted these rumours saying that the mosque is open to all for regular visits and certain restrictions have been put up to control such incidents. There were brief clashes between the police and the protesters after the Friday prayers. The Waqf said that it was the first time since May 4th that Jews were allowed to visit the site.
Jerusalem’s Old City is revered by both the Jews and the Muslims. The infamous Al Aqsa Mosque is situated at the hilltop of the Old City, considered the third holiest site in Islam. The location of the biblical temples revered in Judaism. Due to this reason, the place has become the major conflict zone between Israelis and Palestinians. This place is an epicentre of the 2000’s uprising of Palestinians.
There have been fights between Israeli policemen and Palestinian protestors when Hamas militants fired rockets at Jerusalem leading up to May 10th. The lives of Palestinian families were threatened by this attack and with this, they fled from a nearby neighbourhood in Jerusalem. This resulted in an 11-day war which was ultimately halted by a cease-fire on Friday, according to the sources.
Many nationalist Israeli have been visiting the site in recent times. There is a fear and hysteria among the Palestinians about the forceful occupation by the Israeli administration. The government of Israel has cleared it out that there will be no change in the status quo.
Recently, Israel’s armed forces fired rockets at Gaza which was targeted towards the militants. Militant groups like Hamas and others fired around 4000 rockets towards Israel, mainly on barren land. In this attack, more than 250 people were killed who were majorly Palestinians.
The Israeli forces have struck a large number of buildings where around 2 million Palestinians resided. Ever since Hamas, an Islamic militant group, came into power, Gaza has become a major blockade between Israel and Egypt in 2007.
UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings says that approximately more than 300 buildings and 1000 housing units were demolished and the rest were heavily damaged.