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Temple Mount: 64 Palestinians injured amid violent clashes with police

CM 08/05/2021

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The IDF and Israel police have increased troop presence after violent clashes and the thwarting of a “major attack” overshadowed the end of Ramadan in Jerusalem and the West Bank.Additional clashes following those that had occurred on Friday night were expected to occur once more on Saturday night as Muslim prayer-goers made their way to al-Aqsa mosque, which, as of Saturday night, hosted over 90,000 worshipers. Despite the increased police presence, Israeli media reported Saturday night that rioting has broken out at Damascus Gate, prompting the police to respond with tear gas and rubber bullets. N12 also reported that rioters set ablaze checkpoints in the area.Video from the scene showed rioters clashing with police as police fired stun grenades and tear gas near the Damascus Gate.

At least 64 Palestinians were injured during the clashes on Saturday night, with eight of the injured transferred to hospitals for further treatment. The Palestinian Red Crescent claimed that Israeli security forces prevented ambulances from reaching the Damascus Gate area to treat the wounded.

The injuries were mostly caused by rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings, according to Palestinian reports.On Saturday night, two suspects were arrested in Sheikh Jarrah after attacking police officers with pepper spray. The officers approached the suspects after they were spotted causing damage to property in the area.

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana conducted a situation evaluation with Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai and Israel Police Jerusalem District commander Doron Turjeman, as well as other officials, amid the unrest on Saturday night.
“Israel Police is constantly working to enable freedom of worship and maintain order and security. At the same time, we will not allow violent riots, law breaking and harming police officers,” said Shabtai. “We ask everyone to de-escalate the violence, especially on such an important day for the Muslim religion.”
“Large forces are now working in Jerusalem to allow anyone who wants to come and pray as part of Laylat al-Qadr to do so freely, and indeed tens of thousands of worshipers are expected, but also to prevent any violence and violation of law and order,” said Ohana.
“Yesterday, Border Police forces thwarted a major attack that could have taken place in Jerusalem,” added Ohana. “We have no intention of compromising on the safety and security of Israeli citizens and security forces. I call on everyone to calm down and resume their routine, I wish a happy holiday to Muslims and a good week to all.”

Tensions have risen substantially throughout Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan over the potential eviction of Palestinians from Jerusalem homes in the disputed neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem.
Violent clashes broke out at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday between worshipers and security forces, just as tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered to mark the last Friday prayers of the Ramadan month of fasting.
At least 205 Palestinians and 18 Israeli officers were injured, drawing international condemnations and calls for calm, from the US to the UAE. Similarly, two people were arrested and another detained on Saturday following a brawl at A-Tur junction in east Jerusalem on suspicion of engaging in the violence and using a weapon, while two others were arrested after allegedly assaulting police officers on Hagai Street in Jerusalem.During the brawl, one of those detained allegedly fired a shot into the air. After police arrived, the suspects pelted them with stones, which is what also led to their arrests.Some five protesters in the Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm were also arrested on Saturday after allegedly throwing stones at a police station.

Hundreds were spotted walking up to Jerusalem on foot on Saturday afternoon as Israel Police stopped traffic heading into Jerusalem just ahead of Laylat al-Qadr, one day after violent clashes erupted on the Temple Mount.

The police stated that they had stopped traffic to investigate passengers on one bus of a row of buses, heading to Jerusalem to bring Muslim people to al-Aqsa mosque. However, the buses were left standing in place as police conducted check-ups, so passengers embarked on foot. According to Israeli media, one specific bus was stopped for investigation of the passengers, leaving the entire road blocked. Following the investigations, police opened the highway for travelers to Jerusalem.Route 1 was left at a standstill as a result of the check-ups.In response to the road blockage, the police spokesperson indicated that they intend to prevent anyone wishing to commit violent acts from arriving in Jerusalem. “The Israel Police respects all religions and will continue to allow freedom of worship. At the same time, the police will not allow protesters to arrive in Jerusalem for the purpose of participating in violent disturbances,” the statement concluded.
Laylat al-Qadr marks the day in Islam in which it was believed that the Quran was first sent to the world from Heaven.
Meanwhile, dozens of protesters carrying Palestinian flags gathered in Clock Square of Jaffa on Saturday evening, crying out chants about al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Jarrah and voicing opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In Sheikh Jarrah on Saturday night, police dispersed protesters after they threw rocks, according to the police spokesperson. The police also allegedly set up checkpoints in order to quell the violence, Walla news reported. Demonstrations by Arab-Israelis and Palestinians also have been taking place in numerous localities on Saturday over police conduct at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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