Israeli police raid al-Aqsa mosque after clashes; two dead in Gaza | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Israeli police raid al-Aqsa mosque after clashes; two dead in Gaza

Israeli troopers entered Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest shrine in Islam, and carried out arrests on Friday in what police described as a pursuit of youths who had lobbed rocks and fireworks during clashes with its forces outside.

The rare raid, on a site that is an emblem of Palestinians' statehood hopes and a frequent catalyst of their conflict with Israel, came as medics in Gaza said Israeli army gunfire killed two people - including a boy - during a weekly border protest.

A police spokesman said the troopers were sent into al-Aqsa after suspects who had barricaded themselves in after running confrontations in the surrounding compound, during which masked men launched firecrackers from handheld canisters.

There was no immediate word of any violence in the mosque, whose older male worshippers said they had been allowed to exit after being searched. Witnesses later saw around 20 younger men detained by police, and said mosque prayers later resumed.

Police put the number of arrests at 24, and said four of its officers were injured in the melee. Muslim authorities said dozens of people were hurt by Israeli police stun grenades.

"The continued Israeli attacks against occupied Jerusalem will increase tensions and will drag the region into a religious war that we have long warned against," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office said in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I seriously hope Abbas is completely wrong about that last statement; this is the last thing the Middle East needs right now.

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