By Ryan Ryu ’25
Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan evening prayers for a second consecutive night, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at hundreds of Palestinian worshippers.
Police entered the compound in Jerusalem late Wednesday night, using stun grenades and rubber bullets to force people to leave, according to the Islamic Waqf, the Jordanian-appointed organization managing the third-holiest site in Islam. The Palestinian Red Crescent said six people were wounded. The two raids drew heavy criticism from various leaders and organizations across the world, with the United Nations Security Council set to meet for a closed-door session to discuss the continued Israeli raids on Palestinian worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.
During the first incident on Wednesday morning, footage shared on social media showed Israeli officers striking screaming people with batons inside the darkened building. Eyewitnesses told CNN that police had smashed doors and windows to enter the mosque and deployed stun grenades and rubber bullets once inside. Video shared by Israeli police shows forces holding riot shields up as fireworks were launched back at them, ricocheting off the walls.
Israeli police said in a statement that its forces entered al-Aqsa after “hundreds of rioters and mosque desecrators (had) barricaded themselves” inside. “When the police entered, stones were thrown at them, and fireworks were fired from inside the mosque by a large group of agitators,” according to the statement. Police said they arrested and removed more than 350 people from the mosque and that two Israeli police officers were wounded.