Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at young Palestinians throwing stones at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque amid growing anger over the potential eviction of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.
At least 178 Palestinians and six officers were injured in the nightly clashes at Islam’s third holy site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian doctors and Israeli police said, as thousands of Palestinians clashed with several hundred Israeli policemen in riot gear.
Tensions mounted in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with nightly clashes in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem – a neighborhood where many Palestinian families face deportation in a long-standing court case.
Calls for calm and restraint poured in from the United States and the United Nations on Friday, while others, including the European Union and Jordan, expressed alarm over possible deportations.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians crowded into the perched compound surrounding the mosque on Friday to pray. Many remained to protest the evictions in the city, at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.
But after the evening meal that breaks the Ramadan fast, clashes erupted in al-Aqsa with small scuffles near Sheikh Jarrah, who is near the famous Damascus Gate in the old walled city.
Police used water cannons mounted on armored vehicles to disperse several hundred demonstrators gathered near the homes of families facing eviction.
“If we don’t support this group of people here, (the evictions) will (happen) to my, her, her, and all the Palestinians who live here,” said protester Bashar Mahmoud, 23, of the Palestinian. neighbour. Issawiya district.
An Aqsa official called for calm on the compound over the mosque’s loudspeakers. “The police must immediately stop firing stun grenades at the worshipers, and the young people must calm down and be silent.”
Israel’s Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Sheikh Jarrah’s deportations on Monday, the same day Israel marks Jerusalem Day – its annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War.
The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said 88 of the injured Palestinians were taken to hospital after being hit by rubber-coated metal bullets.
One of the injured lost an eye, two suffered serious head injuries and two had fractured jaws, the Red Crescent said. The rest of the injuries were minor, he added.
A police spokesperson said Palestinians threw stones, fireworks and other objects at the officers, with some of the six injured requiring medical attention.
“We will respond with a heavy hand to any violent disturbance, riot or harm to our officers, and we will work to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” the spokesperson said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he “held (Israel) responsible for the dangerous developments and culpable attacks taking place in the holy city” and called on the UN Security Council to hold an urgent session on the question.