Israeli military tightens grip on Aqsa as Muslims mark holy night
|Tuesday, September 7,2010 14:51|
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, -- Occupied Jerusalem turned into a military barracks on the Muslim holy night of Ramadan 27, as thousands of Israeli troops spread around the city denying all West Bankers under 50 years of age access to the Aqsa Mosque from the Qalandia checkpoint.
A stampede broke out at the Qalandia checkpoint between Palestinians who wanted to worship in the Aqsa Mosque and Israeli soldiers who were fixed on stopping them. Older people suffered from fatigue as a result.
The Aqsa foundation for endowments and heritage announced that hundreds of buses from towns throughout Palestine arrived in Jerusalem Sunday to celebrate the Muslim holy night.
The foundation made a joint effort with residents of several villages to prepare 15,000 meals for worshippers inside the mosque.
More than a quarter-million Palestinians spent the night in the Aqsa mosque as Israeli police stepped up military procedures in the city to hamper worshipers reaching the mosque.
According to eyewitnesses, the congregation began flocking to the mosque early Sunday morning from Jerusalem, Palestinian land occupied in 1948, and the West Bank. The city’s alleys were flooded from the influx of worshipers, until they prayed dawn prayers Monday morning.
Israeli soldiers arrested Sunday morning two young men on a tunnel road south of occupied Jerusalem.
Local sources said Israeli forces have tightened patrols since the beginning of Ramadan in search of West Bank citizens trying to go to the holy city to pray in the Aqsa Mosque, arresting some of them and blocking others from praying in the mosque.