Dozens of Injured in Clashes at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque

More than 150 people have been injured after Israeli security forces and Palestinians clashed in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan, Palestinian medics have said.

The disorder occurred as thousands gathered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the heart of Jerusalem's walled Old City for early morning prayers on Friday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said at least 152 Palestinians had been injured as a result of the clashes.

Israeli police said on Twitter they were responding to people who were throwing rocks and fireworks at officers, three of whom were injured after getting hit with the stones.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that dozens of masked men carrying Hamas and Palestinian Liberation Organization flags marched into Al-Aqsa Mosque early Friday morning while "chanting inciting messages" and setting off fireworks.

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Palestinians are kept at bay by Israeli police during clashes at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, on April 15, 2022. - Witnesses said that Palestinian protestors threw stones at Israeli security forces, who fired rubber bullets at some of the demonstrators. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

The ministry originally denied reports that the officers had entered the mosque while sharing video from inside the building showing Palestinians throwing rocks while surrounded by what appears to be tear gas.

Other footage from the scene posted onto Twitter appears to show Israeli officers in full riot gear entering the mosque, while worshippers lay face down on the ground. Other clips appear to show police firing flash bangs inside the mosque.

These clips could not be independently verified.

In a statement, the Israel Foreign Ministry later added that police entered the grounds to disperse the crowd and remove the stones and rocks "in order to prevent further violence."

"The State of Israel will take all necessary action in order to ensure freedom of worship, and will not tolerate violence aimed at thwarting religious freedom," the statement added.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said those injured during the clashes were hit by rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades, and were beaten with batons, reported The Associated Press.

Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, said that Israel would face consequences for the "brutal assaults" at the mosque.

"Our people in Jerusalem are not alone in the battle for Al-Aqsa. The whole Palestinian people and its noble resistance and its vital power are with them," Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said, via The Times of Israel.

Officials said the mosque has now been reopened for prayers.

Newsweek has contacted the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Palestinian Red Crescent for an update

The Al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest site of Islam, is also known by Jewish people as Temple Mount and considered the holiest site of Judaism. It has frequently been the scene of violence between Israelis and Palestinians throughout the years.

In 2021, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces during Ramadan resulted in an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip.

The latest disorder occurred amid heightened tensions in Jerusalem as the second week of Ramadan runs alongside the start of Passover, the major Jewish holiday which begins at sundown on Friday.

Israel has also been hit by several attacks in recent weeks, which have have killed up to 14 people since March 22. Of the four attacks, two were conducted by sympathizers of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) among Israel's Arab minority, and the latter two by Palestinians hailing from the West Bank, a territory recognized internationally as Palestinian but still partially occupied by Israeli forces.

Israeli soldiers carried out several raids and arrests across the West Bank. Five Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed over a 24-hour period as Israeli forces carried out their raids, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.

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Palestinian demonstrators clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound on April 15, 2022. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images