Al-Aqsa raided, Ain Hiljeh protest camp forcibly dispersed

Nadeen Shaker , Saturday 8 Feb 2014

Clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque Friday between worshipers and Israeli forces left 18 Palestinians injured and a number detained; Israel clears protest camp in the West Bank

File Photo: The al-Aqsa mosque is considered one of Islam's holiest sites, situated on Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif (Photo: Reuters)

Eighteen Palestinian worshipers were treated for injuries after clashes erupted in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Friday.

Following noon prayers, Israeli forces reportedly responded to stones hurled at them and raided the mosque. Tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated bullets were used on the worshippers.

According to Palestinian Ma'an news agency, 18 were injured and at least seven were detained in the aftermath of the clashes.

Meanwhile, also on Friday, Israeli troops cleared a Palestinian protest camp the village of Ain Hijleh near Jericho in the West Bank, AFP reported.

Protestors had set up a week-long camp there to protest against Israel's refusal to withdraw from the Jordan Valley in the event of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The camp was launched under the campaign banner "Melh Al-Ard" (Salt of the Earth), which according to its issued statement "aims at refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people (Palestinians) for liberation and claim to their land."

Christian churches and Palestinian leaders threw their weight behind the protestors and made several visits to the camp.

In US-brokered peace talks Israel has insisted on maintaining a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley, which borders the West Bank.

The protest camp was violently dispersed without prior warning.

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