Fighting has broken out between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in eastern Gaza Strip after Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers crossed the border into the coastal region.
Military tanks fired at least seven shells at residential areas in the region, leaving at four Palestinians wounded, a Press TV correspondent reported Tuesday.
Local witnesses said paramedics were unable to reach the victims, one of whom sustained critical wounds.
Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services, confirmed the report, saying the military was not allowing rescue services to reach the scene of the incident to evacuate the victims, Ynet reported.
The Israeli military has yet to comment on the report.
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A senior Palestinian official says Israel has deliberately triggered violence in Al-Aqsa mosque compound to justify its crackdown and tighten its hold on the occupied East Jerusalem Al-Quds.
“Israel is lighting matches in the hope of sparking a fire, deliberately escalating tensions in occupied East Jerusalem rather than taking steps to placate the situation,” Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement Tuesday.
He accused Tel Aviv of deliberately creating “an extremely dangerous situation” after banning Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday.
Clashes erupted in the city after Israel closed the site and deployed thousands of police forces to secure a Jewish religious ceremony in the holy site, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Palestinian leaders issued a series of warnings last week, saying they would “confront Israel” diplomatically over provoking tension in the region.
The United States and Jordan are trying to ease the tensions, with Jordan asking Israel to prevent the entry of Jews and tourists to the site until the situation calms down, Haaretz reported.
“That will calm the atmosphere while respecting the Jordanian role in Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the daily quoted a senior Jordanian source as saying.
Before the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000, visits to the holy site had to be coordinated with the Waqf religious trust, which is under Jordanian control.
Between 2000 and 2003, non-Muslims were completely barred from the area until the Israel police decided unilaterally to reverse the ban.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem Al-Quds during a 1967 aggression and later annexed it.
Palestinian leader barred from al-Quds:
Israeli authorities have banned the head of Islamic Movement’s northern branch from entering Jerusalem al-Quds, allegedly for causing ‘incitement’, following statements he made in recent days during Temple Mount riots.
According to the Ynet news website, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court took the decision Tuesday night to issue an injunction prohibiting Sheikh Raed Salah from entering Jerusalem al-Quds for a period of 30 days.
The sentence was announced after Salah had been released hours after his arrest in the Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Wadi Joz, by detectives from the Minorities’ Unit and Border Guards officers.
Clashes erupted last Sunday between Palestinians in the eastern part of Jerusalem al-Quds and the Israeli police as a group of Jewish radicals broke into the yard of Al-Aqsa Mosque. About 16 Palestinians and several Israeli police were injured in the clashes, according to media reports.
The incident led the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, to express disapproval over the incursion by Israeli extremists. He called upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel to force it to halt such flagrant violations.
Hamas leader Mushir al-Masri said the injury...