The Citizen (Gauteng)

Hundreds hurt in Jerusalem

ESCALATING: ISRAELI ARMY, PALESTINIA­NS CLASH Tunisia calls for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the violence.

- Jerusalem

Tensions ran high yesterday in annexed east Jerusalem after hundreds of Palestinia­ns were wounded in a weekend of clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces.

The violence around Jerusalem’s revered al-Aqsa mosque compound and the Old City, mostly at night, is the worst since 2017, fuelled by a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over Palestinia­n homes in east Jerusalem.

The unrest swept parts of occupied West Bank and a rocket was fired yesterday from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, with the Israeli army saying it responded with an air strike that struck a Hamas military post.

Tunisia said yesterday it has called for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the violence. About 100 Palestinia­ns were wounded in the clashes, many hit by rubber bullets and stun grenades, the Palestinia­n Red Crescent said. Israeli police said 17 officers were wounded. The previous night 220 people, mostly Palestinia­ns, were hurt after Israeli police stormed al-Aqsa.

On Saturday night, thousands of Palestinia­ns packed al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site which Jews revere as the Temple Mount, to hold special Ramadan prayers.

Israeli police set up roadblocks, effectivel­y preventing hundreds more from joining the prayers.

But violence flared elsewhere in east Jerusalem, in the West Bank and on the border between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel, correspond­ents said.

Israeli mounted police deployed outside Damascus Gate, as agents fired stun grenades to disperse Palestinia­n protesters. Palestinia­ns pelted riot police with stones and set fire to a barricade.

Police also dispersed a rally in Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinia­n families facing eviction in a dispute with Jewish settlers are expecting a Supreme Court ruling today. Police fired stun grenades and protesters pelted them with stones.

In the West Bank, troops fired tear gas grenades, some of which Palestinia­n protesters caught and hurled back with slingshots. In Gaza, Palestinia­ns packed tyres in vehicles and set them alight on the border with Israel. –

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