Following Friday prayers, Palestinian worshipers staged a rally in support of Prophet Muhammad in response to insults leveled at him during a sweeping Israeli march in the region on Tuesday.
Palestinians gathered in the courtyard, but before starting their march from Al-Aqsa to the Damascus Gate of the Old City, Israeli forces attacked the complex through Bab al-Silsila, one of its entrances.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said nine people were injured, including three hospitalized, as Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, emptying the compound of thousands of worshipers.
Israeli police said they arrested 10 Palestinians at the compound.
Hundreds of people demonstrated after Friday prayers in response to a rally organized by Jewish ultra-nationalists on Tuesday, in which dozens chanted “Death to the Arabs” and “Let your village burn”.
Palestinians protested the insults to Prophet Muhammad after an online video showed some of Tuesday’s march participants denigrating him.
The Middle East Eye reported that Israeli forces shot one of its journalists, Latifeh Abdelatif, in the knee with a rubber-coated bullet as they attacked the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The London-based news site said one of its contributors, Sondus Ewies, was also injured, but the extent of his injuries was unclear.
The incidents come hours after Israeli fighter jets launched a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for the second time since a shaky ceasefire ended last month’s 11-day war .
Palestinian sources on the ground said Israeli missiles hit several sites belonging to armed groups northwest of Gaza City and north of Beit Lahia in the besieged territory Thursday evening.
The raid comes as a fragile ceasefire that entered into force less than a month ago is in effect in the besieged Gaza Strip, ending the Israeli bombing campaign that has killed at least 256 people, including 66 children.
Another Israeli police crackdown on worshipers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during Ramadan and the threat of forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem have sparked protests in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israeli forces also brutally shot them down.
Hamas, the group that controls the Gaza Strip, has set a deadline for Israel to end the crackdown. It went unnoticed, prompting Hamas rockets to fire at Israel and the launch by Israel of an intensive bombing campaign on Gaza.
Hours after the truce went into effect, Israeli police stormed the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers.
In recent weeks, groups of extremist Israeli settlers have entered the premises almost daily, under the strong protection of Israeli troops. The groups’ goal is to rebuild the third Jewish temple on the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to their websites.
But under the status quo affirmed in 1967, only Muslims can pray within al-Haram al-Sharif.
The Palestinians fear that Israel is considering taking back the complex or dividing it. The Israeli government has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of changing the status quo, under which the Waqf oversees the site.
Dozens of injured in Beita
Meanwhile, at least 47 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces near the town of Beita, south of Nabulus in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets during a protest against the recent establishment of an illegal Israeli outpost near Beita.
Beita has become a bloody battleground for several weeks as Israeli forces target Palestinian protesters demonstrating almost daily against the continued takeover of their lands on Mount Sabih by Israeli settlers.
Israeli settlers are currently building an illegal settlement and threatening the livelihoods of at least 17 Palestinian families – more than 100 people – who depend on harvesting their olives on land they have owned for generations.