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Security forces braced for capital, Gaza violence ahead of Jerusalem Day

CM 09/05/2021

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Security forces braced for increased violence in the capital, West Bank and along the Gaza border ahead of Jerusalem Day after a weekend of clashes in and around the Old City in which over 200 Palestinians were injured. The situation was so tense Sunday, that the police weighed closing the Temple Mount, known as al Haram al Sharif, to Jewish visitors Monday or at least limiting their number. It also cut down on the number of participants in the annual Jerusalem Day flag parade, which traditionally goes thorough the Damascus gate and into the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Police have yet to decide whether to change its route.

Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police Sunday  throwing rocks towards security forces outside of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the police reported, adding that three officers were injured. The right-wing NGO Honenu reported that six Jews were injured in the clashes.Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday launched incendiary balloons at Israel that started dozens of fires in the southern part of the country. The IDF in response increased its troop level in the West Bank and along the Gaza border and closed the fishing zone to Gaza fishermen.

Extremist forces won’t be allowed to disrupt the peace of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday as he issued a warning against those who attack Israel either in its capital city of Jerusalem or on the Gaza border.”I say to the terrorist organizations: Israel will respond strongly to any act of aggression from the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said.

With respect to Jerusalem, he added, “we won’t allow any violent public disturbances.” Netanyahu explained that in “recent days, we have witnessed violent riots in Jerusalem under the influence of agitating factors.” He spoke said at a special government meeting held in honor of Jerusalem Day, which begins Sunday evening and ends late in the afternoon on Monday.It marks the day Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967 and reunified the city, until then it had been split between the two countries.”We will not allow any extremist party to disturb the peace of Jerusalem. We will uphold the rule of law and order firmly and responsibly. We will continue to maintain freedom of worship for all religions, but we will not allow violent disturbances,” Netanyahu said.The spiraling Jerusalem situation caught the attention of the White House, the Kremlin and even Pope Francis in Rome who called Sunday for end to violence in Jerusalem, inviting parties to seek solutions in order to respect the multicultural identity of the Holy City.”Violence breeds violence, stop clashes,” he told pilgrims who gathered Saint Peter Square in Rome.Reuters, Anna Ahronheim and Jeremy Yona Bob contributed to this report.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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