At least 105 Palestinians were injured in clashes in occupied East Jerusalem that followed the march of far-right Israelis.
More than 100 Palestinians and 20 Israeli police officers were injured in violent clashes that took place overnight after far-right Israelis marched through occupied East Jerusalem chanting “death to Arabs”.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said it had treated at least 105 people, of whom around 20 had been hospitalized. Israeli police said 20 policemen were injured, three of whom were taken to hospital.
Violence erupted outside one of the entrances to the old walled city where far-right Israelis had completed a march, in which participants harassed Palestinians and chanted “death to the Arabs” and held up banners saying: “Death to the terrorists”.
As Palestinians heard reports of the Israeli march organized by a far-right group, Lehava, they gathered by the thousands near the Damascus Gate with ambulances roaming the crowded alleys with their blaring sirens.
Hundreds of Israeli police in riot gear cordoned off the area to prevent Israeli and Palestinian crowds from meeting, creating a 50-meter (164-foot) no-man’s land between them and the group of young Palestinians.
Mounted police fired skunk water at the Israelis, driving them away from their position at the New Old City Gate – just 600 meters (meters) from the Palestinians gathered at the Damascus Gate – and towards the road. Jaffa plant in Jerusalem.
There has been nighttime unrest in the area since the start of Ramadan on April 13, with Palestinians complaining that police were blocking access to the promenade around the walls, a popular gathering place for Palestinians after the fast ended. of Ramadan during the day.
“Palestinians love to relax in this neighborhood after evening prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the occupation [Israel] do not like it. It is a question of sovereignty, ”said Mohammad Abu al-Homus, a resident of Jerusalem, noting the metal barricades thrown by the police in the area in recent weeks.
But police say the move is part of their efforts to ensure that tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers have safe access to the Old City’s main Islamic prayer site, known as the Noble Sanctuary.
Tensions have skyrocketed in recent days in Jerusalem, which has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is home to holy sites sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews.
The Palestinian president’s office condemned “the growing incitement of far-right far-right Israeli settler groups” and urged “the international community to protect the Palestinian people from ongoing settler attacks.”
“East Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine and is a red line,” the presidency said in a press release Thursday.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, also condemned the violence and called it “an Israeli plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque – one of Islam’s most revered sites.”
The moment when dozens of worshipers managed to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque after IOF tried to prevent them through the Bab Hutta Gate.
It’s a moment of pride, may Allah make us see a real victory# Jerusalem Uprising #Jerusalem #Palestine Ramadan #Jerusalem #Palestine 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/04tFxWpjgk
– Islam Essa🇵🇸 # Gaza🙋♀️👑 (@IslamEssa_Gaza) April 23, 2021
In recent days, Jewish “extremists” have taken to the streets harassing Arabs during nightly clashes.
The show of force came after a video was broadcast on TikTok purportedly showing a Palestinian slapping an ultra-Orthodox Jew on the Jerusalem light rail. Other videos made in response appeared to show Israelis attacking Arabs.
Police used metal barricades to stop far-right protesters a few hundred yards from Damascus Gate. They later used water cannons, stun grenades, and mounted policemen to push them back towards predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem.
Police said in a statement that 50 arrests had been made, but did not specify whether those arrested were Palestinians or Israelis and did not mention any specific cases of violence.
Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move unrecognized by most of the international community.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Its fate has been one of the most controversial issues in the peace process, which ended more than 10 years ago.
Thousands of Palestinians were due to attend weekly prayers in the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City later Friday. The site is the third holiest in Islam and the holiest to Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.
The sprawling hilltop sacred site has been the scene of clashes several times over the years and was the epicenter of the first Intifada, or uprising, in 2000.