The Israeli army and police attacked the Palestinian worshipers inside the Aqsa mosque in the old city of Jerusalem on Friday.
Eyewitnesses stated that massive Israeli forces invaded the main yard of the mosque and started to fire live rounds, tear gas and sound bombs at the civilians shortly after the Friday prayers finished.
Medical sources reported a number of injuries due to gas inhalation, and fractures due to the usage of excusive force against civilians.
Security sources in Jerusalem also said that a number of Palestinian youths were abducted by the Israeli forces. Clashes erupted when soldiers invaded the mosque and are still ongoing. So far scores of Palestinian civilians have been injured and Israeli sources are reporting that one Israeli police officer was injured during the clashes.
The Israeli army and police increased their force presence in the area of the mosque and in several areas leading to the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday morning, and barred residents under the age of 40 from entering Jerusalem.
The Israeli Police started deploying thousands of policemen in the Mosque area and in the Old City, especially since the sheikhs of mosques in Jerusalem and elsewhere called for massive protests on Friday against the digging near the Holy Site. At least 2000 Israeli policemen were deployed in the Old City of Jerusalem, especially around the mosque.
The previously tight restrictions were strengthened on Sunday, then again on Tuesday morning before Israeli bulldozers started demolishing the bridge to the Mugrabi Gate, one of the main entrances to the Al Aqsa Mosque.
Last week, city council members and state officials sent an urgent letter to the Attorney General Menachem Mazuz stating that the illegality of the excavation was well known by municipal bodies. However, this outcry was ignored. The Israeli government had recently decided to demolish the bridge, citing the need to build a road for Jewish settlers.