Israeli forces have injured more than 900 Palestinians since clashes over al-Aqsa Mosque compound erupted on July 14.
by Al Jazeera
More than 900 Palestinians have been injured in confrontations with Israeli forces in the last 10 days over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Palestinian hospitals, already overstretched, fear a large influx of injured if tensions, which erupted on July 14 after Israel closed the sensitive site in occupied East Jerusalem, continue.
They also highlighted that most of the injuries inflicted by the Israeli forces were from rubber-coated steel bullets.
International human rights groups have long condemned Israel’s use of such bullets.
The 39-year-old Mohammed Ismeal, currently being treated at Al Maqassid hospital in East Jerusalem, was apparently shot with a stun grenade in the head, which left him drifting in and out of consciousness.
“He wasn’t disabled. But now look at him. He can’t recognise anyone. It’s like he’s lost his memory,” Muataz Ismeal, the patient’s brother, told Al Jazeera.
Suleiman Turukman, the doctor in charge of Mohammed’s case, said he feared for his patient’s life.
“His condition was serious. He was about to die. He is now improving slowly. But is disoriented and cannot recognise his family due to the trauma.”
The clashes with the Israeli forces that started with the closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound have continued since its reopening as Israel introduced metal detectors as a security measure at the entrances of the site.
The Palestinians see the move an attempt by Israel to expand its control at the Muslim-administered compound.
On Sunday, Israel installed new security cameras at the site which also angered the protesters.
Hussein Da’na, a 76-year-old Palestinian, told Al Jazeera that he “rejects” the cameras because they disadvantage Palestinians further.
“These cameras are made to identify the faces of people who are barred from entering al-Aqsa Mosque,” Da’na said.
“We pray each morning here and the police assaults us. I intend to keep praying here until Israel removes all what is new,” he added, referring to the security measures.
Major General Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Israeli defence body for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Israel was open to alternatives to lower the tensions.
“The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack,” he said. “We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors as long as the solution of alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”
However, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, told the Voice of Palestine he demands a complete return to procedures that were in place before the initial attack at the shrine.
In a statement on Sunday, the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem, of which he is a part, said they “affirm the categorical rejection of the electronic gates and all the measures of occupation”.
A top adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said a series of consultations are under way with various countries to try and lower tensions in Jerusalem.
Abbas’s diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said the Palestinians are coordinating with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and others.