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Jerusalem police remove barricades at Damascus Gate as Arab youth protest

CM 25/04/2021

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The Israel Police lifted the barricades it had placed around the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday evening, removing what Palestinians claimed was one of the catalysts of the recent round of violence in the capital. The barricades had been placed last week outside the gate to stop young east Jerusalem Arabs from congregating there and instigating violence against police and Jewish passersby. Hundreds of Arab youth converged on the area after the barricades were removed, chanting: “With blood and fire we will liberate you, Palestine.”Earlier in the evening, three Arab sanitation workers were attacked in downtown Jerusalem. One suspect, a Jewish Israeli, was apprehended by police. Meanwhile Sunday, Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip called on their supporters to “escalate the uprising in Jerusalem” and to form a “unified leadership for popular resistance” against Israel. The enclave’s dominant group, Hamas, told terrorist entities to remain ready to launch more rockets at Israel.Hamas’s call came after Gaza’s terrorist organizations more than 40 rockets into Israeli territory on Friday and Saturday.“The masses of our people continue their uprising in the face of the occupier, their rebellion against its policies and their confrontation with his army and settlers in the streets and alleys of Jerusalem, the Palestinian capital and in the West Bank,” the factions said in a statement.Demonstrations are spreading throughout the Gaza Strip “in a scene that reflects the unity of our people and homeland,” the factions said.

Addressing the residents of east Jerusalem, the factions said Jerusalem “will remain the capital of Palestine, and its people will remain the pride of the Palestinians.”According to the factions, the violence in Jerusalem over the past two weeks is part of the Palestinians’ “battle against settlements and attempts to Judaize the city.”The factions urged Palestinians to set their differences aside and work toward the establishment of “national leadership of popular resistance” to pursue the fight against Israel.“At these historical moments, we affirm the continuation of the popular uprising in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the road to a comprehensive intifada,” the factions said.“We call on the masses everywhere to organize activities of support for this uprising,” they added. “We also call on the masses of our Arab and Islamic nation, all the forces of freedom and peace, and all free people of the world to express their rejection of the occupation and its policies, and we call on the United Nations and the international community to provide protection for our people and punish the Israeli war criminals.”Hamas called on the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip to “keep their finger on the trigger and for the rockets to remain ready to target the [Israeli] enemy.”Hamas also called for the formation of a “unified command” to coordinate and oversee activities against Israel, especially in Jerusalem.Hamas called for the continuation of the protests in Jerusalem and urged Muslim worshipers to head to al-Aqsa Mosque or to pray at IDF checkpoints at the entry to the city.Hamas urged residents of east Jerusalem to “continue the activities of night confusion in the Zionist neighborhoods and the areas near the settlements and the streets leading to them so that the aggressors pay a dear price for their aggression.”Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou on Sunday denied international mediation had led to a ceasefire agreement with Israel. He was responding to unconfirmed reports that Egypt and other parties had intervened last weekend to prevent an all-out military confrontation between the terrorist groups and Israel.The rockets launched at Israel were directly linked to the clashes between Jerusalem Arabs and the police, Qanou said.“The resistance won’t allow the occupation to launch a new aggression against the Gaza Strip,” he said in a radio interview.“We want to stress that we are not aware of any international intervention to calm the situation in the Gaza Strip,” Qanou said. “What is happening in Jerusalem is an ongoing uprising by youths against the hostile policies of the occupation and the settlers. Hamas supports the youths in Jerusalem.”
Source: Jerusalem Post

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