GAZA/RAMALLAH, West Bank: Gaza’s ruling Hamas militants called on Palestinians to rise up on Friday (Oct 13) in protest at Israel’s bombardment of the enclave, urging Palestinians to march to East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and clash with Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank.
Israel has been pounding Gaza with air strikes and artillery fire in retaliation for a Hamas rampage in Israel this week that has killed at least 1,300 people, the deadliest attack on civilians in Israeli history.
More than 1,500 Palestinians have been killed.
The Gaza violence has reignited tensions in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank, where Israeli troops have killed at least 34 Palestinians during clashes since the Saturday Hamas attack, according to Palestinian officials.
In a statement calling for a “general mobilisation,” Hamas urged Palestinians to protest in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – one of the Middle East’s most volatile holy sites – and stay there throughout Friday, when Muslims hold large weekly prayers.
The compound is Islam’s third holiest side after Mecca and Medina and the most sacred to Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. Clashes at the compound helped set off an 11-day Israel-Gaza war in May 2021.
Hamas urged Palestinians in the West Bank to “demonstrate, mobilise and clash” with Israeli troops and settlers.
Israel’s military, which has also traded blows in recent days with militants over its northern border in Syria and Lebanon, had no immediate comment.