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Palestine: Israeli forces raid al-Aqsa mosque, attack West Bank funeral


Israeli forces on Friday fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of worshippers at Jerusalemís Aqsa mosque, injuring some, activists said, while a funeral procession in the West Bank was also attacked by the Israeli army.

Witnesses in Jerusalem posted photos and videos online showing dozens of riot police storming the compound and attacking crowds.

They wrote on Twitter that forces entered the mosque immediately after Friday prayers and assaulted worshippers. One person tweeted that a carpet at the entrance of the mosque caught fire.

Reuters cited Israeli police sources who claimed that security forces attacked the demonstrators only after Palestinians began throwing rocks and two firebombs at them.

Meanwhile, more than 5,000 people gathered in the West Bank village of Aboud to attend the funeral of Mohammed Asfour, a 22-year-old Palestinian who was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in late February and died from his wounds Thursday.

Clashes erupted after the funeral between mourners and Israeli forces. An Israeli military source told Reuters that 100 Palestinians threw stones at soldiers, who then responded with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

Demonstrations in the West Bank, even when non-violent, are routinely targeted by Israeli forces.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters)

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