Tens of thousands in Palestine and around the world abhor the actions by the extremists.
Photos from video (see story). Many thanks to the bloggers that bring us up-to-the minute reports.
(JERUSALEM / SALEM) - Violent clashes took place Friday between Palestinian worshippers, Jewish settlers and Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) troops who stormed the ancient al Aqsa Mosque plazas just after the noon prayers.
The ongoing threat by extremist Jewish groups to "take" the al Aqsa Mosque has caused a reverberation around the globe. The mosque in question has been in place for over a thousand years, and there is no explanation for the lack of reverence by those looking for an unnecessary fight.
Eyewitnesses said that the IOF troops fired teargas canisters and stun grenades, and Palestinian worshippers responded with stones.
Hebrew radio quoted police sources that the IOF arrested more than 40 Palestinians from Jerusalem and 1948-occupied Palestinian areas, allegedly for throwing stones at IOF troops at the Maghareba gate, one of the main gates of the Aqsa Mosque.
The IOF had restricted entry to the Aqsa Mosque barring young Palestinians from attending the prayers.
The first life claimed in this ongoing dispute was a 25-year old Palestinian man, Tala’t Ramieh, from the village of Ram. He was killed by the Israeli occupation forces at the Qalandia roadblock.
Eyewitnesses said he was shot with a live bullet in the chest. Palestinian medical sources said that Ramieh arrived at the hospital in critical condition and he underwent a number of surgeries, but doctors failed to save him and he died on Friday evening.
The funeral for Tala’t Ramieh will be held Saturday at 10:00 am from the Palestinian Medical Center to Al Raam city, and he will be buried after the afternoon prayer at 12:30.
There were fifteen more demonstrators injured Friday afternoon by IOF troops in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil. They were marking the 18th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre.
Those commemorating the tragic event also demanded the re-opening of Shuhada Road. Shuhada Road is a major thoroughfare through the city linking east to west, and has been closed to Palestinians since the massacre in 1994.
On 25 February 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an American Jew who immigrated to Palestine and chose to live in Keryat Arba', a Jewish settlement built on land confiscated from Palestinians, walked into the Ibrahimi Mosque during dawn prayers and threw grenades and opened fire at worshippers killing 29 and wounding 125. By closing the road to Palestinians, they effectively punished the victims, and have for nearly twenty years.
Meanwhile in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, an enormous statement was made when tens of thousands of Palestinians participated in the demonstration which Hamas called for in support of the Aqsa Mosque.
People poured in from six mosques in the city towards the Grand mosque at the centre of Khan Younis where they merged with worshippers from the Grand Mosque. Then they marched the streets of the city chanting support for the Aqsa Mosque and called on Palestinians to prepare to make sacrifices in defence of the first Muslim Qibla (direction of prayer) and the third holiest Shrine in Islam in the face of Zionist aggression against the many Muslim and Christian holy places in the holy city. Jerusalem, the city of peace.
Parade participants raised green and Palestinian flags. The Ahrar movement and other Palestinian factions took part in the demonstration to stress Palestinian unity in face of aggression against their holy places.
Dr. Slah al-Bardaweel, speaking on behalf of Hamas, told participants that Palestinians should be preparing to sacrifice everything precious for Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque which are facing "vicious Judaization schemes with Zionists trying to impose facts on the ground which Palestinians and Muslims the world over cannot accept".
Representatives from many other religions around the world join their quest to keep the holy places in tact, and protected, and peaceful.
Watch the videos below to see what happened at Al Aqsa mosque today:
When it first began:
IOF Storming the mosque:
Cell phone footage from Al Aqsa mosque:
Tour the Al Aqsa mosque:
Sources: http://www.palestine-info.co.uk; twitter; various individuals.