Calm returns after clashes erupt at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jerusalem clashes
Palestinian Muslim worshippers gather during clashes with Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site of Islam, on May 21, 2021.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli police fired stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers at occupied Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, two weeks after similar unrest at the sensitive religious site triggered deadly hostilities in the Gaza Strip.اضافة اعلان

AFP reporters said Israeli occupation forces fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades at unarmed Palestinians, including into a group of men standing around talking, one with a prayer mat slung over his shoulder.

Some youths responded by lobbing stones.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 21 people were hurt in the Al-Aqsa clashes, including two who were hospitalized.

The Palestinian presidency in a statement condemned the "Israeli occupation forces storming Al-Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers and their assault on worshippers."

Relative calm then returned to the compound.

Days of unrest at Al-Aqsa during Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan led Hamas to demand Israeli forces vacate the compound by 6pm (1500 GMT) on May 10.

Hamas fired rockets at Israel when the deadline expired, prompting Israeli occupation forces to launch a devastating aerial bombardment campaign on the Gaza Strip.

'Steadfastness of the people'

A ceasefire to end the Gaza hostilities appeared to be holding on Friday.
In the occupied West Bank, hundreds gathered in several towns after Friday prayers to mark the end to the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The Red Crescent said dozens were wounded after Israeli forces fired live rounds, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas in some areas.

North of Ramallah, Mohammed Mosleh and his 11-year-old son had come out to show solidarity with the people in Gaza.

He told AFP he praised "the steadfastness of the people there in the face of a powerful state with devastating weapons."

Omar Harb, who attended the rally with his sons, said that "what happened in Gaza was one of many rounds of oppression and occupation against the Palestinian people."

"Our resistance to the occupation will not end with this round," he said.

Israeli occupation forces have killed 25 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since May 10, Palestinian health authorities said.