Days after the Israeli riot police entered the Al-Aqsa mosque, a rocket fired from the besieged Gaza Strip into southern Israel was shot down by Israel's Iron Dome interceptor, Israel’s army said on Monday, 18 April.
This is the first such attack in months as tensions soar over a flashpoint holy site in occupied East Jerusalem.
No casualties or damage has been reported so far and no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the rocket.
This comes after more than 150 Palestinians were injured in clashes after the Israeli riot police entered the Al-Aqsa mosque's (the third holiest site for Muslims) compound in Jerusalem on 15 April.
While Palestinians have accused Israel of encroaching at Al-Aqsa during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel on the other hand has blamed Palestinian protesters, stating that they seek to disrupt Muslim prayer for political ends and to prevent visits by Jews.
Israel’s Al-Aqsa Policy ‘Seriously Undermines’ Chances of Peace: Jordan
Israel's actions in Al-Aqsa has brought condemnation from Egypt and Jordan, which had inked peace agreements with Israel decades ago and coordinate with it on security matters.
Jordan's King Abdullah told United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Israel's Al-Aqsa policy "seriously undermines" chances of it making peace with the Palestinians, Reuters reported.
Jordan, which is custodian of Al-Aqsa and has a Palestinian majority, also summoned Israel's acting ambassador for a reprimand.
Adding to it, Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh told parliament:
"I must laud ... those throwing their stones at all of those Zionists who desecrate Al Aqsa mosque with the protection of the Israeli occupation government."
However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attacked al-Khasawneh, saying that he views with gravity statements that blame Israel for the violence that "we are being subjected to".
Stating that some people are encouraging "stone-throwing," Bennett added, "This serves as a prize for the inciters, chiefmost Hamas, who are trying to ignite violence here in Jerusalem," Al Jazeera reported.
The violence occurs in the backdrop of coinciding festivities for Muslims, Christians, and Jewish people.
This year's Ramadan coincides with Passover, an important week-long Jewish holiday that began on Friday at sundown, and also the Christian Holy Week.
Last year, similar violence had sparked the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, that had led to the deaths of more than 250 Palestinians.
(With inouts from Reuters and Al Jazeera.)