September 28 , 2022 marks the 22nd anniversary of al-Aqsa Intifada which caused martyrdom and injury of thousands of Palestinians.
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On this day 18 years ago, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon who led the opposition movement, backed by 2,000 Israeli police special forces and with green light from the then prime minister Ehud Barak violated al-Aqsa Mosque, a move which led to much clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli soldiers.
Following the raid against al-Aqsa Mosque, Sharon claimed that the holy site will be an eternal belonging of Israelis. His remarks irked Palestinians and led to severe clashes leaving 7 Palestinian martyrs and 250 others wounded. On the opposite side also 13 Israeli troopd were injured.
According to Palestinian sources, the incident turned to an onset for severe conflicts between Palestinians and occupying Israeli, left tens of people wounded overflowing the clashes to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be named al-Aqsa Intifada.
Muhammad al-Durrah martyrdom
Muhammad al-Durrah turned into the symbol for the second Palestinian Intifada. Two days after Sharon issued orders for violation of al-Aqsa Mosque and amid clashes in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed the 11-year-old boy as he was sheltered by his father on Salahuddin St. A French television correspondent recorded the incident for the world people to watch in awe.
According to Palestinian and Israeli sources, 4,412 Palestinians were martyred and 48,322 others wounded during al-Aqsa Intifada. Also 1,100 Zionists, including 300 Israeli forces were killed and nearly 4,500 more injured.
Sharon was in pursuit of assassinating number one leaders from political parties and military groups of Palestinian resistance in order to put out the flames of al-Aqsa Intifada.
He struggled to weaken the resistance groups especially Abu Ali Mustafa, Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and also assassinate Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, founder of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas and he eventually did so.
Expansion of resistance branches
During the second Intifada, Palestinian resistance movements began expanding their military wings as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades advanced its arms to produce missiles able to target Israeli cities and settlements.
Ashdod city in southern occupied Palestinian lands was the first target of home-grown Ezz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades missiles a year after the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada on October 26, 2001. The military power of the brigades was boosted soon and al-Qassam Brigades fighters could target biggest Israeli cities.
The second Palestinian Intifada eventually concluded on February 8, 2005 after a ceasefire agreement between the Palestinian side and Zionists in Sharm El-Sheikh though observers believe that regarding the facts that the two sides did not reach a diplomatic solution and the clashes continued in the West Bank cities, Palestinian Intifada is still going on.