Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) denounced Israeli police’s violent storming of Al Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, calling the actions “wrong” and “cruel.”
Early Friday, as thousands of worshippers were gathered at the holy site for morning prayers, Israeli police fired tear gas and stun grenades on the mosque compound and entered the building and arrested hundreds of Palestinians, The Associated Press reported.
Israeli authorities said young Palestinians had thrown rocks toward a gate leading to the Western Wall, a sacred Jewish prayer space. Palestinian witnesses told the news outlet a small group had thrown rocks at Israeli police who then went on to attack the compound.
Medics with the Palestinian Red Crescent said over 150 Palestinians were injured, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli authorities said over 300 people were detained.
“It is simply wrong + cruel to attack a people in their sacred place of worship,” Tlaib, who is Palestinian, said in a tweet later on Friday. “I am tired of our country enabling violence & violations of int’l human rights w/ silence & unconditional aid.”
Almost a year ago, Israeli forces mounted a similar attack on worshippers at Al Aqsa during Ramadan. It sparked a deadly, 11-day conflict in which Hamas launched rockets into Israel, killing 12 people, and Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza, killing over 240 Palestinians.
Police said the mosque was reopened in time for Friday midday prayers, according to the AP. Thousands more worshippers were expected. It is the start of a holy week in Jerusalem, with Ramadan for Muslims coinciding with the start of Pesach for Jews and upcoming Easter for Christians.
Tlaib’s tweet specifically denounced “unconditional aid” from the U.S. to Israeli forces. Last year, just days after the deadly conflict, Biden approved over $700 million in arms sales to Israel.
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