- Israeli police again raided Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque late Wednesday night — the second such raid in 24 hours — after the first led to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip firing at least nine rockets into Israel. Israel responded with air strikes that hit what it said were weapon production sites controlled by Hamas, the Islamist armed group and political party that governs the embargoed area.1
- Israeli police said that they arrested 350 people during the first raid after what they called 'agitators' — carrying fireworks, sticks, and stones — barricaded themselves inside the mosque. Palestinians at the scene said that stun grenades and rubber bullets were used to clear out the group, and that 14 people were injured.2
- It is not immediately clear how the incident began, with conflicting reports coming from Palestinian and Israeli sources. Israeli police said that they were forced to enter the mosque because Palestinians had locked themselves inside. However, Palestinian sources described the confrontation as an unjustified attack on worshippers.3
- The incident drew condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world, with Jordan — which has been the official custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites since 1924 — condemning the actions of the Israeli police “in the strongest terms,” and calling on Israel to immediately remove its forces from the mosque.4
- Tensions are particularly high with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Jewish Passover celebrations overlapping this week. Al-Aqsa, which is considered one of the holiest sites in Islam, is also considered a major holy site in Judaism — it is also often referred to as the Temple Mount.5
- The situation in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel continues to deteriorate as violence has worsened in the last year due to an increase in Israeli raids in the West Bank following a spree of Palestinian attacks in Israel. In May 2021, an 11-day conflict broke out between Israel and Hamas, which was sparked by confrontations at Al-Aqsa.5
- Pro-Palestine, as provided by Middle east eye. Every year, Israeli forces brutalize Palestinian worshippers while the world and international media either turn a blind eye or pretend as if the conflict has 'two sides.' Without cause, Israeli police assaulted worshippers, leading to a dangerous escalation. Indeed, the occupation's cruelty has no bounds, even during the holy month of Ramadan. Emboldened by international passivity after killing more Palestinians last year than in any other calendar year since the Second Intifada, the occupation is becoming even more brutal.
- Pro-Israel, as provided by The times of israel. Though the Palestinians and their enablers will cry foul when Israeli police try to maintain order, the reality is that Wednesday's confrontation was a result of Palestinian agitators turning a holy site into a war zone. Even though the Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, Israel maintains the status quo, as it has no interest in provoking the situation in the West Bank or Gaza. While the media focuses on Jerusalem, terrorists in Gaza committed the real crime by firing rockets at Israeli civilians.