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Current Affairs

Clashes at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

Date: 21 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Clashes between riot police and civilians in al-Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem have resulted in injuries to Palestinians.

 

Background

This is second such instance of rioting in past couple of days that left 152 Palestinians injured during clashes with Israeli riot police.

 

Details

  • The event occurred due to overlapping of Jewish festival of Passover with the holy month of Ramadan.

  • The police accused the rioters of attacking with stones and fireworks, which led to injuries to police officials.

  • The tensions between Israel and Palestinians have heightened since fatal attacks in Israel and deaths of Palestinian civilians during subsequent raids.

 

Unfolding of events

  • Israeli forces claimed that a large Palestinian mob carrying militant group Hamas’ flag started throwing stones at the police during early morning.

  • Some of the stones were directed towards the Western Wall located below the mosque’s compound, where Jewish worshippers were standing.

  • The police waited till morning prayers were over before entering the compound and dispersing the crowd.

 

Reasons for violence

  • Militant group Hamas had asked Palestinians to converge on the mosque compound to protect their country and the mosque.

  • They consider increase in visits to the Temple Mount site by religious Jews during festival of Passover as provocative.

 

Religious significance

  • The al-Aqsa mosque is one of the holiest sites for Muslims around the world. The Jews consider the site as Temple Mount and is revered as the  holiest one in Judaism.

  • The mosque and the compound has been a flashpoint for violence between Palestinian hardline groups and Israeli forces. Palestinians consider it as a symbol of their resistance, culture and nationhood.

 

Historical origin

  • The Temple Mount is located in the walled city of Jerusalem. It hosts the Dome of the Rock to the north and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the south.

  • Jews consider this to be the site where God gathered dust to make Adam. The First Temple of the Jews was built on this mountain.

 

Control of site

The site was captured by Israel in 1967 following the Six-Day War. Israeli Security Forces patrol and conduct searches within the perimeter of the mosque.