Jerusalem (Web Desk): Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem and arrested worshippers in a violent raid on Wednesday morning.
In a statement, Palestinian officials said the Israeli forces used excessive force firing stun grenades and tear gas causing suffocation injuries to several worshippers.
As per the foreign media reports, the Palestinian Red Crescent said 12 Palestinians sustained wounds from rubber-tipped bullets and beatings in clashes with Israeli police. It added that Israeli forces were preventing its medics from reaching the area.
"In the yard to the eastern part of the compound, the police fired tear gas and stun grenades, it was a scene that I can't describe," said Fahmi Abbas, a worshipper at the mosque. "Then they stormed in and started beating everyone. They detained people and put the young men face down on the ground while they continued beating them."
The Palestinian leadership condemned Israel's attacks on worshippers, which they described as a crime.
"We warn the occupation against crossing red lines at holy sites, which will lead to a big explosion," said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The incident drew a sharp reaction from Arab countries. Jordan and Egypt, both involved in recent US-backed efforts to de-escalate tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, issued separate statements strongly condemning the incident, while Saudi Arabia, with whom Israel hopes to normalise ties, said Israel's "storming" of Al-Aqsa undermined peace efforts.
Thousands of worshippers have been spending the night in the mosque compound, amid fears of possible clashes with Jewish visitors to the site, which they revere as the Temple Mount, the site of Judaism's two ancient Temples.
Over the past year, Israeli forces have made thousands of arrests in the West Bank and killed more than 250 Palestinians, while more than 40 Israelis and three Ukrainians have died in Palestinian attacks.