Occupied Jerusalem (In Palestine Today)_As many as 90 more Palestinians are wounded on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and elsewhere in the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli regime sustains its brutal attacks against the Palestinians there.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service updated the figure early Sunday, saying the casualties included 23, who had been hospitalized, Reuters reported.
According to the service, some 205 Palestinians had been wounded on Friday after Israeli forces attacked hundreds of Palestinians worshipers on the compound with rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades. Dozens were likewise taken to the hospital after the aggression, including some who had ended up in a serious condition.
The center has said most of those, who have been injured during the two days of clashes, have been targeted in the eye and the face.
Since the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Israeli forces and illegal settlers have been roaming the city, chanting anti-Palestinian slogans and trying to prevent Palestinians from gathering and performing their religious duties. Early in the month, the Israeli regime also shut down Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) of the al-Quds’ Old City, further enraging Palestinians.
The provocations took a still dangerous turn after the forces attacked Palestinian homes in East al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
The aggressors were trying to prompt the Palestinians to abandon their residences there. The regime had earlier issued them warnings that they had to evacuate their homes.
Also on Friday, Israeli forces gunned down two Palestinians and wounded a third, accusing them of opening fire on a base belonging to the Israeli police in the occupied West Bank, where al-Quds is located.
Gaza rises in rage
The nearby Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip has expressed unequivocal solidarity with the West Bank’s residents in the face of the atrocities.
The Palestinian Information Center said the Gazans had announced start of “night fury” protests along the coastal sliver’s border with the occupied territories, in support of their fellow Palestinians.
It was reported separately that Israeli snipers had shot three Gaza residents in the leg. It was not clear if the violence was part of the regime’s attempts at confronting the solidarity protests in the enclave.
Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Political Bureau of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, warned the regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to “play with fire.” “We will defend the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood with all that we have at our disposal, and the Zionist enemy will be the loser of this battle,” he said.
Simultaneously, Palestinian media outlets reported a couple of rocket attacks from the direction of Gaza towards the occupied territories as well as Israeli ground and aerial assaults on the Tel Aviv-blockaded strip.
The Palestinian Ma’an news agency, meanwhile, cited Israel’s Walla news site as reporting that given the extent of the tensions that the Israeli actions have led to, the regime was seeking out potential suspension of its plans for Sheikh Jarrah.
The report came after former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert warned about the prospect of a third Palestinian Intifada (Uprising), citing the enormity of the Israeli-triggered situation.
However, the Israeli army has, at the same time, asked the air force to “update” its data bank of Gaza-based targets, the website said. The Israeli military is also slated to increase the number of the drones it sends to Gaza to confront the protests there and add to the number of the forces, including sharpshooters, that it stations on the territory’s border.
In the meantime, angry reactions kept pouring out across the world towards Tel Aviv’s unashamed violations.
The Iraqi foreign ministry issued a statement, repeating Baghdad’s solidarity with the Palestinian cause and condemning the Israeli regime’s intimidatory measures.
Mohammed Abdul Salam, spokesman for Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, said the Muslim countries should go beyond just releasing statements concerning the developments. The countries, he added, should rather endeavor towards complete restoration of Palestinians’ right and liberation of the Palestinian lands from Israeli occupation.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel as a “cruel terrorist state” in a speech in the capital Ankara on Saturday.
He said the regime attacks Palestinians, “whose only concern is to protect their homes … and their sacred values — in a savage manner devoid of ethics.”
Imran Khan’s office also referred to a visit paid by the Pakistani premier to Saudi Arabia, saying that the issue of the Israeli violence had come up in the official’s discussions with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two expressed support for all the legitimate rights entitled by the Palestinian, especially the right to self-determination and establishment of a Palestinian state based on the borders of 1967 — when Israel occupied the West Bank – with al-Quds as its capital.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted, “Attacking a place of worship at any time is reprehensible, but attacking a mosque during Ramadan is utterly indefensible. It is also a violation of international law. Israel should heed calls to halt the violence immediately.”
The envoys of the Middle East Quartet that comprises the European Union, Russia, the United States, and the United Nations, released a statement, saying they were closely monitoring the situation in East al-Quds, including in the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah.
The representatives expressed “deep concern” over the escalation, in particular last night’s confrontations.
“The envoys noted with serious concern the possible evictions of Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for generations in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods…and voice opposition to unilateral actions, which will only escalate the already tense environment,” the statement read. “We call upon Israeli authorities to exercise restraint and to avoid measures that would further escalate the situation during this period of Muslim Holy Days.”