11-Year-old Palestinian girl assaulted by Israeli forces

Israeli forces assaulted a Palestinian girl in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday during a religious festival marking Prophet Muhammad’s journey to the heavens.

The 11-year-old Palestinian girl was hospitalized after being hit in the head by a sound grenade fired by police near the Damascus Gate.

Police assaulted groups of Palestinians with stun grenades and blasts of acrid-smelling high-pressure water from cannons as people in the scene fled for cover.

Around 25 Palestinians were injured during the clashes, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Thousands of Palestinians had gathered in the Old City entryway to celebrate al-Israa wa al-Miraj. The holiday celebrates the miraculous “night journey” of the Prophet Muhammad, from Mecca to Jerusalem.

Almost 90,000 Palestinians from towns in the occupied West Bank and inside Israel flocked to Al Aqsa Mosque to observe the day, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. 

Wafa had reported Monday’s arrests came after Palestinian scouts approached the Damascus Gate chanting religious songs.

Ahed al-Rishq, a member of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, told Wafa that the “[Israeli] occupation did not like the Palestinian celebrations, so resorted to oppressing the people in Damascus Gate, injured and arrested several of them.”

He added that “despite all these assaults, Palestinians in Jerusalem remain adamant in holding national and religious celebrations. Jerusalem is ours, and al-Aqsa is ours.”

Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 and considers all of the city as its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a state they seek to establish in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.