by Ayman Ahmed
Indulging in customary brutality, heavily-armed Zionist occupation forces stormed the Aqsa Mosque during night prayers on Friday May 7.
The occupation forces violated the sanctity of this sacred space and barged inside the prayer hall with their filthy boots.
They fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at worshippers among them women and children leaving more than 200 injured.
Scores of Palestinians were also arrested and at the time of compilation of this report, more arrests were taking place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Al Quds (East Jerusalem).
The last Friday of Ramadan has special significance for Muslims.
It also coincides with the International Quds Day that Muslims and others observe worldwide.
Iran’s Press TV, quoting the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service, reported that 88 injured Palestinians were taken to hospital for treatment.
“One of them lost an eye, two suffered serious head wounds and two had their jaws fractured,” the report added.
Attacks by illegal Zionist squatters (aka settlers), aided and abetted by the occupation forces have escalated against Palestinians in recent weeks.
In particular, they have targeted the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in the eastern part of Al Quds (East Jerusalem) that is close to the Damascus Gate of Al Aqsa Compound.
The Zionist occupiers’ aim is ethnic cleansing of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah as part of their plan for the complete occupation of Al Quds (Jerusalem).
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has condemned the Zionist attack on worshippers in Masjid al Aqsa.
On Friday (May 7), it called for Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza to be ready for any Israeli escalation at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the neighbourhoods in Al Quds.
Hamas hailed the people of Al Quds for their valiant resistance against Zionist occupation forces at the Damascus Gate, Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and all villages and neighbourhoods in the holy City.
It urged Palestinian youth to continue the freedom struggle against the occupation.
Hamas stated that the Israeli occupation settlers “Desecrate our holy places and attempt to force Palestinians at Sheikh Jarrah out of their hometown.”
Similarly, Zionist organisations are calling on the illegal squatters to break into Al-Aqsa Mosque on the 28th of the holy month of Ramadan, defying the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic Ummah.
The Palestinian resistance movement denounced the Israeli occupation forces and squatters for their criminal attacks on the Palestinian people, declaring, “It will not remain silent and will act in self-defence.”
Several Muslim countries have denounced the violent Israeli assault on Palestinian worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque compound in al-Quds.
The strongest condemnation came from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic “strongly condemns” the Israeli raid on al-Aqsa Mosque, the first Qiblah of Muslims (a place toward which Muslims pray), on Quds Day.
“This war crime once again proves to the world the criminal nature of the illegitimate Zionist regime and the need for urgent international action to stop the violation of the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law,” he added.
“In addition to condemning this horrific crime against humanity and offering condolences to the families of the martyrs of this violent attack and wishing speedy recovery for the wounded, the Islamic Republic of Iran calls on the UN and other relevant international organizations to fulfill their decisive duty against the war crime.”
Iran “proudly stands by the heroic people of Palestine and calls on all countries of the world, especially Muslim states, to honor their historic task and stand by the Palestinian people in the face of the Zionist aggressors,” he added.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying it “strongly condemns” Friday’s attack by Israeli forces on Palestinian worshippers.
“Turkey will continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian people,” it said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as well as presidential spokesman Ibrahim took to Twitter denouncing Israel’s “inhumane” targeting of “innocents praying during Holy Ramadan.”
In his tweet, Kalin demanded that “Israeli occupation forces… must leave al-Aqsa mosque immediately.”
The foreign ministries of Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia also issued statements denouncing Israel’s attack on Al Aqsa Mosque targeting worshippers.
They demanded immediate halt to such attacks by Zionist occupation forces.
Egypt’s al-Azhar University, the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning, condemned the “brutal Zionist terrorism in the light of shameful international silence” toward what is going on in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The Islamic Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) hailed the steadfastness of Palestinians in al-Quds in the face of Israeli aggression and plans to displace them from their homes.
Not surprisingly, the Saudi foreign ministry refused to condemn the attack, only saying Israel’s unilateral measures undermine the chance to resume “peace” talks.
What peace talks and what planet do the Saudis live on, one wonders.
The South African BDS Coalition issued a statement today condemning “Israeli state terrorism at Al Aqsa Mosque and forced removals from Jerusalem” [Al-Quds].
Western media and governments referred to Zionist attacks on worshippers inside Al Aqsa Mosque as “clashes”.
Did Palestinian worshippers come out of the mosque while they were engaged in prayers to attack the heavily-armed Zionist thugs or the thugs barged inside the mosque with their filthy boots and attacked worshippers?
Western regimes and media are complicit in Israeli crimes and will be held accountable.