Israeli police clash with Palestinian worshippers as at least 50 injured in Jerusalem | World News

At least 50 Palestinians worshippers have been injured after clashes with Israeli police inside a Jerusalem holy site, medics have said.

Officers fired tear gas and stun grenades some of them landing in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and worshippers threw stones and other objects.

Hundreds of Palestinians and about two dozen police officers have been injured in similar clashes over the last few days.

A member of Israeli police aims a weapon during clashes with Palestinians
A wounded Palestinian is evacuated
A wounded Palestinian is evacuated during the violence that left dozens hurt

The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.

It is the epicentre of a conflict and that has been centre stage for Israel-Palestinian violence in the past.

A Palestinian gestures as he confronts Israeli police
The violence follows weeks of rising tensions

Tensions in the city are particularly high as Israel marks “Jerusalem Day” on Monday – its annual celebration of the capture of East Jerusalem, and the walled Old City that is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy places, in a 1967 war.

Police barred Jews from visiting the Al-Aqsa compound to mark the event in an effort to dial down tensions.

However, police have given the greenlight to a traditional Jerusalem Day march in which thousands of Israeli flag-waving Jewish youths walk through the Old City’s Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter.

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Jerusalem: Reporter sees scores injured

This year the march coincides with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – a time of heightened religious sensitivities.

Addressing a special Cabinet meeting ahead of Jerusalem Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel “will not allow any extremists to destabilise the calm in Jerusalem. We will enforce law and order decisively and responsibly”.

“We will continue to maintain freedom of worship for all faiths, but we will not allow violent disturbances,” he said.

At the same time, he added: “We emphatically reject the pressures not to build in Jerusalem.”

This morning James Cleverly, UK minister for the Middle East and North Africa, appealed for calm.

In a statement he said: “The UK appeals for calm, and calls for an end to the violence witnessed in Jerusalem over recent days.

Palestinians react as Israeli police fire stun grenades during clashes at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount
On Sunday 136 people were injured in similar clashes at the same compound

“All sides need to de-escalate tensions in the final days of Ramadan.”

The US, meanwhile, has renewed its “serious concerns” about the situation.

Washington made these known during a phone call between national security advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart.

Mr Sullivan urged Israel “to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations”, according to a statement by National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks in east Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians.

At the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel blocked off a popular gathering spot where Palestinians traditionally socialise at the end of their day-long fast.

The move set off two weeks of clashes before Israel lifted the restrictions.

But in recent days, clashes have resumed after Israel threatened to evict dozens of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.

The article from the source


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