International condemnation followed Israeli arrests of worshippers and use of stun grenades inside the holy mosque.
Israeli police attacked and arrested Palestinian worshippers in a violent dawn raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, prompting global outrage over Israel’s repeated targeting of Muslims during Ramadan.
According to Palestinian officials, at least 400 Palestinians were detained by Israel on Wednesday and are being held at a police station in Atarot in occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinian eyewitnesses reported that Israeli forces beat worshippers with batons and rifles and used excessive force, including tear gas and stun grenades, causing widespread suffocation.
Twelve injuries, including three hospital transfers, were reported by the Palestinian Red Crescent. In a statement, it added that Israeli forces had stopped its medical staff from getting to Al-Aqsa.
The raids continued until Wednesday morning, when Israeli forces were once more seen violently assaulting Palestinians and preventing them from praying inside the mosque compound, pushing them out before allowing in Israelis under police protection.
In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, tension has already been high for months. As two significant religious holidays, the Jewish Passover and the Muslim Ramadan, coincide, there are fears that acts of violence will increase.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a statement: “What happened in Jerusalem is a major crime against the worshippers. Prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque is not with the permission of the [Israeli] occupation, but rather it is our right.
“Al-Aqsa is for the Palestinians and for all Arabs and Muslims, and the raiding of it is a spark of revolution against the occupation,” he added.
In a statement on Wednesday, Qatar condemned the attacks on Palestinians.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “considers these brutal criminal practices a serious escalation and a blatant violation of the holy places, an extension of the policy of Judaization of Jerusalem, a violation of international law and international legitimacy resolutions, and a provocation of the feelings of more than two billion Muslims in the world, especially in the blessed month of Ramadan,” reported QNA.
Social media users from around the world took to different platforms to amplify Palestinian voices and share the reality on the ground as Palestinians shared photos and footage of the brutal attacks.
“If any other State’s army raided a holy site and brutally assaulted hundreds of worshippers inside it, that attack would cause global outrage. But because it is the army of the self-proclaimed Jewish State,” tweeted renown Palestinian writer Mohammed Elkurd.
“Strongly condemn this attack on worshippers in Al Aqsa mosque once again by Israeli forces esp during Holy month of Ramazan. It is OIC’s responsibility to inform UNSC & int community that such barbaric acts cause immense hurt to Muslims across the world,” former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet.
“Worshippers in Aqsa mosque right now are being brutally and savagely attacked by armed Israeli forces. Some people are even afraid to film because that means more beatings. Scenes coming out are horrifying,” said Mariam Barghouti in a tweet.
“Al-Aqsa is our last breathing space. They want to take that away, so nothing is left ‘for us’ in this strange city,” one Twitter user said.
“Palestinian worshipers were savagely & barbarically assaulted by Israeli forces inside the Al Aqsa Mosque during holy Ramadan. There cannot be a movement for an exclusive liberal democracy for Jews, and apartheid for Palestinians,” Author Rula Jebreal tweeted.
“And the world is sleeping on this as usual because after all Arabs and muslims are not worthy of human rights during a holy month,” added another user.
“The colonizers deliberately do this every single Ramadan. It’s meant to demean, dehumanize and humiliate Palestinians further; that every aspect of their lives is dictated for them and nothing is sacred under this occupation; that they aren’t even free to worship in peace,” stated a user in a tweet.
“Such tactics are part of the existing structure of physical and psychological warfare; meant to break their will. But the people are already retaliating and mobilizing. May Allah protect the people of Palestine and may His justice be swift against the occupiers and oppressors,” he added.
Frustrations and feelings of helplessness have mounted with some people.
“I don’t really think people understand just how helpless and infuriating it is as a Palestinian to see zionists destroy what is meant to be the most peaceful and holy time of year and the fact that we’ve normalized their excessive maltreatment of Palestinians during Ramadan is disgusting,” tweeted Lama.
“What can I do other than share an infographic? Everyone already knows exactly what Israel is doing and everyone just chooses to ignore it,” she said in a following tweet.