Israeli police prevent call for prayer from Al-Aqsa Mosque and prayer outside its closed gates

JERUSALEM, Israeli police prevented call for prayer from Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and attacked Palestinians who gathered outside Bab al-Asbat, one of main gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, to perform the evening prayer after police had closed all gates to the Mosque and prevented worship inside the Muslim holy compound, said witnesses.

People have been holding prayers since noon today outside the gates to the Mosque compound after police had attacked worshippers inside it and pushed them out before closing its gates and preventing freedom of worship inside it alleging that people had set fire to a police station inside the compound.

Palestinians have contested the Israeli fire allegation, some stressing that the fire could have been started by the police themselves or their agents to use as a pretext for closing the Muslim compound as part of a plot to force the closing of Bab al-Rahma prayer area, which police has been trying to do for over three weeks.

Witnesses said a large police force deployed inside the Old City but mainly at the gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque pushed away Palestinians who came to perform the evening prayer in the open yard outside Bab al-Asbat.

A scuffle occurred at one point and police used violence to keep worshippers away.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it transported to hospital today four injuries from beating.

It also said police attacked its crews at Bab al-Asbat and prevented them being in the area.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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