Clashes erupt in Jerusalem, Israel responds to Gaza rockets with airstrikes

Jerusalem (CNNPalestinians and Israeli security forces fought in the early hours of Thursday morning near the entry point of security forces in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City and Israel Responded to rockets fired from Gaza with airstrikes, as the most intense tensions of recent months continued to simmer.

Videos showed dozens of Israeli police patrolling the compound near the mosque, just after sunrise on Thursday. Palestinians fired fireworks at police from within the mosque. Others show police shooting stun guns.

At about 7:15 a.m. A group of Jewish visitors walked into the area, many dressed in religious attire and accompanibyith Israeli Security forces.

The hilltop is sacred to both Muslims as well as Jews and has been a hot spot for many years. Jews refer to it as”the Temple Mount and revere it as the site where the first and the second temples were. Muslims call it”the Haram al-Sharif and believe it to be the spot that point where the prophet Mohammed was able to ascend to heaven.

Since 1967, the arrangements are controlled by a status-quo agreement that allows only Muslims to worship at the spot, but visitors are allowed to visit at certain times. To ease tensions and to be in line with the similar Israeli government actions in recent years, starting today, there will not be future visits by Jewish organizations until the close of Ramadan which is in 10 days.

“In common with recent days, this morning, at the end of the dawn prayer, dozens of lawbreakers and masked men rioted and disturbed the order on the Temple Mount, with severe violence,” an Israeli police statement read on Thursday.

Police have described the recent discharge of fireworks inside the mosque, one of which set off an incident of a small fire on the carpet as a sign of desecration. There are accusations of it is the Al-Aqsa Mosque is built on a base are frequently thrown between both sides as well as Palestinians and others asserting that Israeli security forces contaminate the structure when they set the foot in it.

Israel accuses Hamas of the incitement of Palestinians about the mosque and it is believed that the militant group is considering whether or not to escalate the war in Gaza also. the night of Thursday, most 5 rockets were launched from Gaza’s coastal enclave to Israel. The Israeli military claims that most of them were stopped with The Iron Dome aerial defense system.

Israeli warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on Hamas locations in Gaza according to the military. One strike struck the entry point into an underground plant that is involved in the manufacturing of a rocket engine, the military declared. There are no reports out of Gaza regarding any injury.

On the evening of Wednesday y, ay tensions in Jerusalem increased after Jewish nationalists who were led by the extreme legislator Itamar Ben Gvir tried to march towards Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances into Jerusalem’s Old City used by Palestinians.

Israelis participate in a “flag parade” in Jerusalem that was organized by nationalist groups on Wednesday.

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Police refused to issue an authorization for the march, and they had succeeded in stopping the majority of young men from reaching the Gate However, there were minor fights in the Old City’s narrow roads between Jewish nationalists as well as residents of the area, Palestinians as well as Israeli police.

In one of the videos, the group of nationalists breaks out into the chant “Death to Arabs” as they gather around Palestinian men in the food stall and begin pushing the men around.

It has been tense since last week, with frequent clashes taking place in and around the d Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Friday witnessed the worst disturbances when around 150 Palestinians were wounded as per the Palestinian Red Crescent, along with a number of police. None of the injuries are life-threatening, as reports suggest.