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.
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. –