Pictures: Metal detectors at Al-Aqsa gates…damaging and searches…prayers in the streets…injuries and arrests
July 17, 2017

The occupation authorities installed 9 metal detectors on three of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates while the occupation forces assaulted dozens of Muslims in the areas of Lions Gate and Hutta Gate and prevented a funeral from entering Al-Aqsa.

Nine metal detectors

The occupation authorities installed 9 metal detectors (electronic gates) at gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque (5 at Lions Gate, 2 at Al-Majles Gate and 2 at Al-Silsileh Gate) while the other gates (Hutta, King Faisal, Ghawanmeh, Hadeed, Mathara and Qataneen) remained closed.

Dozens of Jerusalemites headed by Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Wasef Bakri, head of legislative court, and several officials from the Islamic Awqaf department refused to enter Al-Aqsa through the metal detectors and insisted on their right to enter the mosque without any conditions and freely. They considered the newly installed metal detectors as procedures to change the current situation at Al-Aqsa.

Prayers at Al-Aqsa gates

Dozens of Jerusalemites performed the Noon Prayer at Lions Gate in the participation of Sheikh Omar Kiswani and Sheikh Wasef Bakri. They also continued demonstrating until the night time and performed the Afternoon, Evening and Night Prayers despite the occupation forces’ attempts to assault and disperse them several times. They were beaten with batons and pushed but insisted on staying in the area of Lions Gate.

Before the Night Prayer, the occupation forces established iron barriers at Lions Gate to prevent locals from entering the Old City of Jerusalem especially the courtyard of Lions Gate. Despite that, the Prayer was held inside and outside the gate.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 18 people were injured during the assault on worshippers in the area of Lions Gate; three injuries were transferred to the hospital. All of the injuries were due to assaulting and pushing worshippers.

Attacking a funeral

The occupation forces stationed at Lions Gate attacked the funeral of Mohammad Daoud Al-Qaq and prevented the participants from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. They used force against them upon arrival to Lions Gate and beat them with batons. The forces also raided Al-Rahmeh Gate Cemetery concurrently with the arrival of the funeral.

Damages and searches

The occupation authorities continue to control the keys of Lions Gate. While closing Al-Aqsa from Friday until Sunday, the occupation authorities searched all the mosques, facilities, offices, clinics, manuscript office, fire department office and Islamic museum at Al-Aqsa mosque. They broke the locks using special tools and also searched the wells.

In the morning hours, the occupation authorities brought employees and special vehicles to clean Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to hide the damages they have done in the last couple of days.

The occupation intelligence called several employees of the Islamic Awqaf department and informed them of the decision to ban them from entering Al-Aqsa indefinitely. Firas Dibs, head of media and public relations at the Islamic Awqaf, explained that Mohammad Dabbagh, Samer Qabbani, Khalil Tarhooni, Hamzeh Nabali, Fadi Alayan, Amer Salfiti, Emad Abdeen, Majd Abdeen and Abdelaziz Haleisi were among those who received calls.

The occupation forces arrested five Jerusalemites from the area of Lions Gate after assaulting and beating them.