In Israel, Jerusalem, Palestine

Israeli security forces stand guard next to detained Palestinians at the entrance of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, on May 21, 2021

Israeli security forces have fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque, hours after thousands gathered at the holy site to celebrate the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza.

By Latifeh Abdellatif [in Jerusalem]

Published on MEE, May 21, 2021
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Israeli security forces have fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque, hours after thousands gathered at the holy site to celebrate the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza.

Footage released on social media showed Israeli police firing into crowds of Palestinian worshippers shortly after they had congregated for Friday prayers.

Tens of thousands prayed at the mosque on Friday afternoon, which was followed by celebrations, chants in support of Gaza and distribution of sweets.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers had been targeted by Palestinians who threw stones, and began “riot” suppressing measures.

At least 20 Palestinians have been wounded, with two being taken to hospital, according to Palestine Red Crescent. Reuters reported stones and molotov cocktails being thrown towards police.

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding Friday after 11 days of deadly air strikes pounded the Palestinian enclave. At least 232 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, including 65 children.

Thousands of rockets were fired into Israel forcing many to flee for underground shelters. Twelve were killed in Israel by rocket fire.

The fighting was originally triggered by violent raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and the threatened explusion of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

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