Palestine: 20 killed in air strikes; violence in Al-Aqsa again

Hyderabad: The Al-Aqsa mosque was once again stormed into by Israeli forces for a third time in three days, leaving several Palestinians, including children, injured. The violence in the mosque also led air strikes or deadly bombing in the Gaza strip by Israel, which led to the death of around 20 people. Amidst the chaos, Israeli nationalists also marched towards the wasters wall of the old city to celebrate “Jerusalem day”(the day marking Israel’s victory in the 1967 war) which is held on May 10.

At Al-Aqsa Mosque 

According to various media reports, over 300 Palestinian Muslims were injured, including seven children, were critically injured after israeli forces on Monday stormed the Al Aqsa mosque for the third consecutive day. The issue at heart here is the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Palestine, where around 40 Palestinians, including 10 children are threatened with eviction as Jewish settlers seek to take over their homes.

However, some reports suggested that the Israeli security resorted to violence after Palestinians violated COVID-19 norms. The Palestinian humanitarian organisation, Red Crescent reported that at least 305 people were injured in the raid that coincided with the annual Jewish nationalist match marking the day East Jerusalem was occupied and subsequently annexed by Israel in 1967. According to the Israeli army radio, 21 Israeli forces were wounded. 

Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the Imam of Al Aqsa mosque alleged that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the raid on the holy mosques compound “to satisfy the settlers, so that he would remain the prime minister.” 

Fire at Al Aqsa Mosque 

A tree briefly caught fire in the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque after it was hit by a firework aimed at Israeli police. Videos of Israeli settlers celebrating the fire have been doing rounds on the Internet which has earned a lot of criticism from netizens.

The celebrations are seen as highly provocative, particularly as tensions have been high in recent days as a number of Palestinian families of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem face eviction.

20, including 9 children, dead in Gaza Strip 

Palestinian health ministry reported that at least over 20 Palestinians, including children have been killed by a series of deadly air-strikes launched by israel on the civilian population of Gaza. According to the Middle East eye, eyewitnesses said the strikes hit crowded neighbourhoods, killing numerous civilians. Nine of the victims of this deadly terror attack on the civilian population were children.

The father of one of the children said “My children were martyred. I cannot find any justification whatsoever for targeting someone passing through overcrowded civilian neighbourhoods where dozens of children usually play.” 

US congresswoman Ilhan Omer slammed Israel and called the bombing of Gaza as “act of terrorism,” she tweeted: “Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”

The Israeli Supreme Court of Israel earlier the gave four Palestinian families from Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood time until last week to reach a deal with Jewish settlers regarding the ownership of their homes.(Al Jazeera). The Palestinian families allege that it is a move to force them out and replace the neighbourhood with a Jewish population. 

Earlier the Jerusalem District Court ruled that at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday, despite living there for generations. However, the decision of the case hs now been delayed due to the clashes. Forced evictions in Palestine have become the norm from decades, and is something that Palestinians have been protesting against from years.