Israeli police invaded Al Aqsa Mosque for the second night in a row on April 5, during the holy month of Ramadan, firing tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers inside.
Video footage, circulated on Twitter by The Institute of Middle East Understanding, shows armed Israeli officers inside the mosque.
Palestinian worshippers are attacked at Al Aqsa every year during Ramadan. However, the Jewish festival of Passover coincides with Ramadan this year, making the situation even more dangerous for Palestinian worshippers. Compounding this danger is the aggression by the newly elected government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, which is in coalition with ultra nationalist forces.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported on April 5: "Last night and today at dawn and in the morning, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) raided al-Aqsa Mosque and its praying halls, violently assaulted Palestinian worshipers inside the mosque and in its yards and fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at them. IOF also arrested and attacked more than 400 Palestinians from al-Qibli Mosque, causing bruises and injuries to tens of them."
The PCHR strongly condemned the raid, use of excessive force and arrests, the IOF's actions in depriving Palestinians of their freedom of worship and impeding the work of medical staff treating the injured. It called on the international community and the United Nations Special Rapporteur to work to protect civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including their freedom of worship and called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) "to open an investigation as soon as possible in the serious events taking place in the oPt, including Jerusalem".