Thirty years ago, this October 8th was not an ordinary day, as Jerusalemites woke up to the sounds of bullets, bombs and loudspeakers from the mosques calling for the protection of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. 21 Palestinians were martyred and hundreds of them were injured when they confronted the members of the Temple group who stormed the mosque in order to conduct their prayers In it, the cornerstone of their temple was laid, to be dated that day as “the first al-Aqsa massacre.”
Since the dawn prayers, all the Palestinians have fled to the Al-Aqsa Mosque after information was reported about the settlers ’intent for a week ago, and the occupation was at that time allowing Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem, and what aroused suspicion at that time was his permission to enter worshipers on such a day without restriction or condition, even the doors of the mosque It was legal and not stressed by the police.
Saden of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Akef Shtayyeh, 58, recalls what happened at the time, and told Al-Jazeera Net that he was present with the Al-Aqsa guards near the Mughrabi Gate, west of the mosque, behind which were large reinforcements of the occupation army on standby, while in the mosque thousands of worshipers attended who were listening to sermons Through external speakers with the voice of Sheikh Hamed Al-Betawi.
A feast and a threat
Shtayyeh says, “The situation was calm, and I heard with my own ear an Israeli officer named Tzion Ezra saying in Hebrew to those next to him,” I am waiting for a small stone that the Palestinians will hit on the block (referring to the Al-Buraq Wall), and then I will show you what I will do in the Temple Mount Square (referring to Al Aqsa).
To prevent the mixing of the large crowds of worshipers, the women were separated on the roof of the Dome of the Rock, while the men were in the vicinity of the Al-Qibli prayer hall, and suddenly I heard the voices of women screaming and begging for help, so the men came to them to see numbers of them lost their consciousness due to the tear gas canisters fired by the occupation from the windows and roof of the occupied Tankaziya school Near Bab Al Silsila.
That was the spark of the beginning, so the angry worshipers started throwing stones at the Mughrabi Gate, and large forces of the occupation army stormed the mosque from all directions, and began firing randomly firing rubber and live bullets and gas bombs, and after the end of the massacre they closed the mosque for two whole days and prevented worshipers from entering it, except for the employees of the Islamic endowment .
One of them blew his head and another killed him while he was performing ablution
Akef Shtayyeh saw death with his own eyes, as he lay on the ground between the two stairs opposite the Mughrabi Gate after he was caught between the stones of the worshipers and the bullets of the occupation, and he continued repeating the two testimonies, and in the meantime he saw an Israeli sniper in front of him called Shlomi Katafi stationed at the Mughrabi Gate and firing live bullets at the worshipers, and killed in front of Shtayyeh Young Burhan Kashour (19 years old) near the dome of Yusef Agha and blew his head.
Shtayyeh also witnessed the killing of Adnan Mawasi, 31, from the Palestinian interior, who was killed while performing ablution at one of the fountains of the mosque, and Shtayyeh transported many of the wounded, whose clothes filled his clothes, which he kept for a long time.
They killed them while they were praying
Shtayyeh does not forget what his eyes recorded at the time and dug into his memory, saying, “The occupation forces surrounded about 20 young men near the roof of the Marwani prayer hall, and when the young men saw that they would inevitably be martyred, they began to pray behind an imam for them to die as well, so the Israeli officer came and shot them all to the ground. Then he instructed a plane flying around him and asked to take an overhead picture of him, raising the victory sign with one hand, carrying the weapon in the other hand, and stepping with his foot on the imam’s head.
He sold his soul instead of his goods
On the day of the massacre, Muhammad Arif Abu Sneina (30 years old) prayed in a mosque near his house in the city of Hebron in southern Palestine, then went as usual carrying his goods to sell them in Jerusalem, but he did not know that he was heading to sell his soul to God in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Abu Sneina arrived in Jerusalem and faster to Al-Aqsa After hearing about the prayers.
His older brother Muhammad Walid Abu Sneina told Al-Jazeera Net that his brother was injured in the neck and killed immediately, then he was transferred to Al-Makassed Hospital, and from there to the Jabal Al-Mukaber cemetery, and he adds, “His shirt sleeves were raised, I think he was performing ablution, I prayed and said goodbye, he was smiling gently.” .
Abu Sneina passed away without his mother and wife being able to say goodbye to him, as the occupation imposed a curfew on the city of Hebron in which they lived, and left behind 4 children, and a fifth child whose mother gave birth to him a month after his father’s death, and named him Muhammad after him.
A hidden crime
Human rights activist Mahmoud Jeddah (72 years) contributed to the transfer of dozens of wounded in the massacre to ambulances near the Lions Gate, and told Al-Jazeera Net that the occupation shot him with a rubber bullet while carrying one of the wounded, and he was hit in the side and arm.
His grandmother saw many wounded and martyrs in front of him, and he remembers the martyr Mariam Maktoub (45 years old) who was killed at the southern entrance to Bab Hatta Road. He also dug in his memory the scene of the man who was transported a martyr near the Mughrabi Gate and his paws had bloodstained, so that he would know later that that bloody body was his brother .
Jeddah concluded by saying, “It was a deliberate attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They claimed that stones fell on the Jews in the Al-Buraq Wall, but as human rights activists, we refuted their claim before international human rights organizations. We had a video recording of the Al-Buraq Wall at the moment of the massacre and was documented by a foreign photographer, in addition to the testimony of a British expert.” He saw one of the stones that the occupation claimed had been thrown at its citizens, and confirmed that no one could carry a stone of this size and throw it all that far. “