Israeli forces attacked Palestinian worshippers inside al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem in a pre-dawn raid on Friday. Medics say at least 60 Palestinians have been wounded.

Iran PressMiddle East: The raid comes on the second Friday of Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims where tens of thousands of worshippers flock to al-Aqsa to pray.

Dozens of people have been injured as Israeli security officers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades inside the courtyards and prayer halls of the mosque, according to local media. 

The Palestine Red Crescent said 60 people have been evacuated from the mosque and transferred to nearby hospitals, including seven with upper-body wounds.

More people are being evacuated and treated as Israeli forces continue to assault worshippers. 

Footage shared online showed tear gas being fired inside the silver-domed Qibli prayer hall, the main building on the site from where congregational prayers are led.

This viral footage shows first moments when Israeli forces stormed the Al Qibli prayer hall inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, firing sound grenades and rubber bullets at the worshippers.

Worshippers live-streaming the assault on Instagram showed people trapped inside the mosque and said that Israeli forces were trying to clear them off the site forcibly.

The raid comes just before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, set to last from 15 April to 23 April. Far-right Israeli settlers have vowed to raid al-Aqsa Mosque and slaughter animals inside its courtyard as a religious sacrifice.

Last year, multiple violent raids by Israeli forces inside al-Aqsa Mosque prompted widespread demonstrations across the occupied West Bank and the Palestinian community inside Israel, leading to an 11-day war between Israel and armed groups in Gaza.

According to the UN, Israel's large-scale military operation on the besieged Strip killed 256 Palestinians, including 66 children. In Israel, 13 people were killed by rockets launched from Gaza.


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