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Home / World / Palestinians ‘hurt in clashes’ at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque

Palestinians ‘hurt in clashes’ at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque

Calls for calm and restraint poured in on Friday from the US and the UN, with others including the EU and Jordan voicing alarm at the possible evictions
Israeli security forces try to detain a Palestinian protester outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on May 8, 2021
Israeli security forces try to detain a Palestinian protester outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on May 8, 2021
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Reuters   |   Jerusalem   |   Published 09.05.21, 02:30 AM

Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades towards rock-hurling Palestinian youth at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque on Friday amid growing anger over the potential eviction of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.

At least 205 Palestinians and 17 officers were injured in the clashes at Islam’s third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said, as thousands of Palestinians faced off with several hundred Israeli police in riot gear.

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank during Ramazan, with nightly clashes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah — a neighbourhood where numerous Palestinian families face eviction in a long-running legal case.

Calls for calm and restraint poured in on Friday from the US and the UN, with others including the EU and Jordan voicing alarm at the possible evictions.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed into the hill-top compound surrounding the mosque earlier on Friday for prayers. Many stayed on to protest against the evictions in the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But following the evening meal that breaks the Ramazan fast, clashes broke out at

Al-Aqsa with smaller scuffles near Sheikh Jarrah, which sits near the walled Old City’s famous Damascus Gate.

Police used water cannon mounted on armoured vehicles to disperse several hundred protesters gathered near the homes of families facing potential eviction.

“If we don’t stand with this group of people here, (evictions) will (come) to my house, her house, his house and to every Palestinian who lives here,” said protester Bashar Mahmoud, 23, from the  Palestinian area of Issawiya.

Sheikh Jarrah’s residents are overwhelmingly Palestinian, but the neighbourhood also contains a site revered by religious Jews as the tomb of an ancient high priest, Simon the Just.  The spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the evictions, “if ordered and implemented, would violate Israel’s obligations under international law”.



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