152 Palestinians injured in clashes at Jerusalem holy site: report
JERUSALEM – Palestinians clashed with Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem just before dawn on Friday as thousands of people gathered for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. Doctors say at least 152 Palestinians have been injured.
A holy place, which is sacred to Jews and Muslims Has often been epicenter Between Israeli-Palestinian unrest, and tensions had already risen The latest wave of violence. Clashes on the ground last year sparked an 11-day war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
Collisions occur at particularly sensitive times. This year Ramadan coincides with the Passover, which begins at sunset on Friday and is Christian holy week, ending on Easter Sunday. The holiday is expected to bring thousands of faithful to the Old City of Jerusalem, home to major sites sacred to all three religions.
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Hours after the clashes began, police announced that they had ended the violence and arrested “hundreds” of suspects. They said the mosque has been reopened and Friday noon prayers will be held as usual. Thousands of people were expected.
Israeli authorities said they had previously held talks with Muslim leaders to ensure peace and allow them to pray, but Palestinian youths pelted stones at police, sparking violence. Palestinian witnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns, said a small group of Palestinians hurled stones at police, who then entered the compound with force, and started widespread riots.
In the video circulating online, Palestinians are throwing stones and fireworks and police are throwing tear gas and stun grenades at the esplanade spread around the mosque. Others showed worshipers barricading inside the mosque.
Later in the morning, Israeli police stormed the mosque and arrested people. Israeli security forces rarely enter the building, and when they do, it is seen as a major boost by Palestinians.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Emergency Service said it had treated 152 people, many of whom had been wounded by rubber-coated bullets or stun grenades, or beaten with sticks. Endoment said a guard at the scene was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.
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Israeli police said three officers were injured in the “large stone pelting”, while two were evacuated from the scene for treatment.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said dozens of masked men with Palestinian and Hamas flags marched into the compound early Friday morning, collecting stones and other items in anticipation of the unrest.
“Police were forced to enter the grounds to disperse the crowd and remove stones and rocks to prevent further violence,” he tweeted.
Police said they waited until the prayers were over and the crowd began to disperse. In a statement, he said the mob began throwing stones in the direction of the nearby Jewish holy site, the Western Wall, and forced them to act.
Palestinians see any major police deployment in al-Aqsa as a major provocation.
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Israel’s national security minister, Omar Barlev, who oversees the police force, said Israel had “no interest” in violence at the holy site but that police were forced to confront “violent elements” who attacked them with stones and metal bars. Was. He said Israel is committed to freedom of worship for Jews and Muslims.
The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. It is built on top of a hill in the old city of Jerusalem which is the holiest place for Jews, who call it Temple Mount because it was the site of Jewish temples in ancient times. It has been a major flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence for decades and was the epicenter of the 2000-2005 Palestinian intifada or uprising.
Israel captured the home of East Jerusalem, al-Aqsa and other major holy sites in the 1967 war and joined it in an internationally unrecognized move. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city to be the capital of a future independent state, including the West Bank and Gaza, which were also occupied by Israel during the war about 55 years ago.
Tensions have risen in recent weeks following a series of attacks by Palestinians that have killed 14 people inside Israel. Israel has launched a wave of arrests and military action in the occupied West Bank, sparking clashes with Palestinians.
The Palestinian health ministry said a 17-year-old man had died early Friday morning in the occupied West Bank, a day earlier, after being wounded in a clash with Israeli forces in Jenin.
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The latest wave of violence has killed at least 25 Palestinians, many of them in attacks or in clashes, but an unarmed woman and a lawyer also appear to have been killed, according to the Associated Press. Error
Weeks of protests and clashes in Jerusalem during Ramadan last year finally sparked an 11-day war with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.
Israel lifted sanctions and took other measures to calm and calm tensions before Ramadan, but due to attacks and military raids The second cycle of unrest.
Hamas condemned what it called “brutal attacks” on worshipers in al-Aqsa by Israeli forces and said Israel would suffer “all consequences”. He called on all Palestinians to “stand with our people in Jerusalem.”
Earlier this week, Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza called on Palestinians to camp at the Al-Aqsa Mosque over the weekend. Palestinians have long feared that Israel plans to occupy or divide the site.
Israeli authorities say they are committed to maintaining the status quo, but in recent years nationalist and religious Jews have visited the site in large numbers with police escorts.
In recent weeks, a radical Jewish group called on people to bring animals to the site to be sacrificed for Passover, offering cash prizes to those who succeeded or even tried. Israeli police are working to prevent such activities, but the call was widely circulated on social media by Palestinians, with calls to prevent Muslims from making any sacrifices.
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Rabbi Samuel Rabinovitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, issued a statement calling on Muslim leaders to work for an end to the violence. He also noted that “today the sacrifice on the Temple Mount is in opposition to the decision of Israel’s Chief Rabbit.”