Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Monday morning, firing rubber-coated bullets, tear gas and sound bombs while Palestinian protesters threw rocks at officers. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said 21 people have died in the violence, of Israel’s army claim 15 belonged to the Hamas group.
A Palestinian medic said a worshipper was shot in the neck with a rubber bullet.
The insider who is stuck inside the Al Aqsa mosque said the compound is a “battlefield”.
He told Al Jazeera: “The worshippers are suffering from tear gas inhalation.
“There is no respite except to get close to the mosque’s windows to breathe some fresh air.
“Medical teams are still prevented from accessing the wounded.”
Now many fear clashes will become more brutal as today marks the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March.
Hundreds of Palestinians and more than 20 Israeli police have been injured during the clashes over the past three days.
Tensions were particularly high as Israel marked Jerusalem Day, an annual celebration of the capture of the city, including the walled Old City that is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy places, in 1967.
The Al-Aqsa mosque is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
The mosque, which is considered to be the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, has been centre-stage to ongoing violence between the two sides in the past.
Tensions soared in the region in advance of the now-delayed Israeli court ruling on whether authorities would be empowered to evict dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, just outside the Old City and give their homes to Jewish settlers.
Israel’s Supreme Court had been due to hold a hearing on Monday, but the session was postponed due to the unrest.
Confrontations between police and protesters continued until after dawn.
Police shared a dramatic CCTV video within which Palestinians were shown throwing stones at a white car, after which the driver reverses and rams into one protester.
The downed man gets up and limps away while an armed Israeli police officer runs in to protect the driver, believed to be Israeli, who faced more rock-throwing.
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Relations between Israel and Palestine have always been fraught, but have been particularly tense since the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in mid-April.
Speaking on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel “will not allow any extremists to destabilise the calm in Jerusalem”.
He said: “We will enforce law and order decisively and responsibly.
“We will continue to maintain freedom of worship for all faiths, but we will not allow violent disturbances.”
Mr Netanyahu added: “We emphatically reject the pressures not to build in Jerusalem.”
The origins of the conflict between Israel and Palestine have “existed since the dawn of time” according to foreign affairs analyst Anthony Angelini.
Mr Angelini told Express.co.uk: “Israel may only be the size of Wales, but its global impact has been huge.
“Not only are they the only democratic country in the Middle East, but they are also a global leader in several major industries including tech, medicine, and climate science, and they have one of the most advanced and capable militaries in the world.
“They are a regional superpower and an important partner for the United Kingdom and the United States.”
He added growing tensions between Israel and Iran should not be overlooked as “any war between one could mean a proxy war between the others”.