Israeli police clashed with Palestinians on Monday night on Friday in occupied East Jerusalem, amid heightened tensions over the gathering ban and anger fueled by videos featuring the attacks public.
New violence occurred following clashes on Thursday night, in which the Palestinian Red Crescent reported at least 105 wounded, of which about 20 were transferred to hospital, while Israeli police said know 20 officers were injured.
On Thursday, police banned access to certain areas where Palestinians often gather in large numbers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – sparking confrontations outside one of the City entrances The neck is surrounded by walls.
Tensions were fueled by the emergence of far-right Israeli Jewish groups at the end of a march that harassed the Palestinians and chanted “death for the Arabs”.
After calming down during the day on Friday, skirmishes broke out again as thousands of Muslims left the Al-Aqsa Mosque grounds after evening prayers, as they faced the row. Dozens of armed police officers, including horseback officers.
Clashes broke out between worshipers and police, with bottles of water thrown at the officers firing stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
Police said hundreds of Palestinians also gathered Friday at the Qalandiya intersection between Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
In Bethlehem, also on the West Bank, the Palestinians threw stones and petrol bombs at the tomb of the biblical mother Saint Rachel, a temple revered by Jews and Muslims, they added.
There have been nightly disturbances in the area since the start of Ramadan on April 13, with Palestinians blocked by police from walking around the walls, a popular gathering spot following the conclusion the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Late Friday, the Israeli military said at least 10 rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip south of Israel in the early morning hours – the most in one night since the beginning of the year.
Some were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense systems and others shot down when sirens rang in nearby villages.
In response, Palestinian security sources and witnesses told AFP, Israeli tanks bombarded the Gaza Strip.
The military said it attacked a military post belonging to Hamas.
– Maryam Al-Barghouti (@MariamBarghouti) April 23, 2021
Jewish ‘extremist’ groups
The United States, Israel’s ally, under President Joe Biden, has encouraged greater rights to the Palestinians, saying on Friday it is “deeply concerned” by the escalation of violence in Jerusalem.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price wrote on Twitter: “The rhetoric of violent protesters shouting hateful and violent slogans must be resolutely rejected.
The European Union and the United Nations have also called for restraint.
Jordan condemned “provocative actions” by “extremist” Jewish groups, urged Israel to stop such incidents and lift restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, have spoken out in support of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
“The spark you light up today will be the fire that explodes in the face of the enemy,” it said in a statement.
Tensions are heightened at the flashpoint mecca after a series of videos posted online in recent days showing young Arabs attacking Orthodox Jews and hardened Jewish groups taking to the streets to arrest bully Arabs in confrontations every night.
Police said after night prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, “hundreds of rioters started violently disturbing order, including throwing stones and objects at the force. “.
Stun grenades were fired and tornadoes were deployed to disperse “rioters” and force them toward less central areas of East Jerusalem, they said.
“It’s like a war zone; it’s very dangerous, ”a Palestinian who is near clashes outside the Old City told AFP. “That’s why I left this place.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right Lehava group staged a march to protest anti-Semitic violence involving hundreds of people, and ended up facing the Old City.
The police set up fences to prevent them from entering the predominantly Arab site.
Videos on social media show Palestinians attacking Orthodox Jews early Friday, with reports of Israeli vehicles being stoned in and near East Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, speaking to public broadcaster Kan, said he was in talks with the leaders of the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhoods “to end this pointless violence”.
Lion said he tried to cancel the march at Lehava, but police told him it was legal, and noted that “dozens” of Jews who attacked the Arabs had been arrested for two weeks. by.
But the Palestinian president condemned “the growing incitement of far-right Israeli settlement groups in favor of the killing of Arabs, which in recent days manifested in a wave of attacks on Palestinian civilians in the city.” old Quarter”.
And a statement late Thursday on the Palestinian official Wafa news agency called on the international community to protect Palestinians from attacks, which they say have been encouraged by the Israeli government.