Israeli forces briefly clashed with Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa after Jewish worshippers visited the compound

People clear the debris after brief clashes erupted between Israeli police and Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque over visits by Jews on the Tisha B'Av fast day to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, July 18, 2021.
People clear the debris after brief clashes erupted between Israeli police and Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque over visits by Jews on the Tisha B’Av fast day to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 18, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
  • More than 1,000 Jewish worshippers visited the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday.
  • The Palestinian Authority said Israeli forces forcibly removed Muslim worshippers, Reuters reported.
  • Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa compound followed.
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Israeli forced clashed with Palestinians at Al-Aqsa mosque after Jewish worshippers visited the compound for Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning, on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Around 1,300 Jews visited the site, Reuters reported, citing Israeli media. The Palestinian Authority said Israeli forces forcibly removed Muslim worshippers from the compound to make way for the Jewish worshippers.

Israeli authorities said Palestinian youth were there throwing stones in the early hours of the day and then dispersed, Al Jazeera reported.

The incident comes two days before the Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Adha. The holiday, also referred to as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” commemorates the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as ordered by Allah. As Abraham is about to sacrifice his son, he instead is told to sacrifice an animal instead by the angel Gabriel. Muslims all across the globe will sacrifice an animal, donating parts of it to the needy on the first day of the holiday, which is celebrated on the last day of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The site at Al-Aqsa is considered holy for both Muslims and Jews. Muslims call it al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, and Jews call it the Temple Mount, Al Jazeera reported.

The Palestinian Authority said it held “the Israeli occupation government fully responsible for the escalation resulting from the Israeli incursion in the Al-Aqsa mosque complex in occupied Jerusalem,” Al Jazeera reported.

Reuters reported that in a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Jewish worshippers to “continue, while maintaining order at the site.”

The clash comes after 11 days of violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in May. During the fighting, at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed, with nearly 2,000 people in Gaza injured. At least 12 people in Israel were also killed, including two children and a soldier.

The clashes began after protests in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood over the forced eviction of families in favor of Israeli settlers. Israeli forces then stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque injuring worshippers during the last 10 nights of Ramadan and Hamas said it would retaliate by sending missiles into Israel. Israel then sent airstrikes in Gaza.

The two sides agreed to a ceasefire on May 20.