Clashes in Jerusalem see 178 Palestinians injured as Israeli police fire rubber bullets

Israeli police have fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at rock-hurling Palestinian youths during protests over West Bank settlements.

Clashes grew increasingly violent outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid Palestinians’ growing anger over potentially being evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers. 

At least 178 Palestinians and six Israeli officers were injured in the night-time clashes at Islam’s third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said, as thousands faced off against several hundred Israeli police in riot gear.

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 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 United States and the United Nations, with others including the European Union and Jordan voicing alarm at the possible evictions.

Clashes grew increasingly violent outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid Palestinians' growing anger over potentially being evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers. Pictured, an injured Israeli police officer

Clashes grew increasingly violent outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid Palestinians' growing anger over potentially being evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers. Pictured, an injured Israeli police officer

Clashes grew increasingly violent outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid Palestinians’ growing anger over potentially being evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers. Pictured, an injured Israeli police officer

At least 178 Palestinians and six officers were injured in the night-time clashes at Islam's third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said, as thousands faced off against several hundred Israeli police in riot gear. Pictured, an injured Palestinian protestor

At least 178 Palestinians and six officers were injured in the night-time clashes at Islam's third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said, as thousands faced off against several hundred Israeli police in riot gear. Pictured, an injured Palestinian protestor

At least 178 Palestinians and six officers were injured in the night-time clashes at Islam’s third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said, as thousands faced off against several hundred Israeli police in riot gear. Pictured, an injured Palestinian protestor

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with nightly clashes in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah - a neighbourhood where numerous Palestinian families face eviction in a long-running legal case. Pictured, police fire stun grenades at the crowd

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with nightly clashes in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah - a neighbourhood where numerous Palestinian families face eviction in a long-running legal case. Pictured, police fire stun grenades at the crowd

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with nightly clashes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah – a neighbourhood where numerous Palestinian families face eviction in a long-running legal case. Pictured, police fire stun grenades at the crowd

Calls for calm and restraint poured in on Friday from the United States and the United Nations, with others including the European Union and Jordan voicing alarm at the possible evictions. Pictured Israeli police

Calls for calm and restraint poured in on Friday from the United States and the United Nations, with others including the European Union and Jordan voicing alarm at the possible evictions. Pictured Israeli police

Calls for calm and restraint poured in on Friday from the United States and the United Nations, with others including the European Union and Jordan voicing alarm at the possible evictions. Pictured Israeli police 

Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed into the hilltop 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 Ramadan 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 nearby Palestinian neighbourhood of Issawiya. 

An Aqsa official appealed for calm on the compound through the mosque’s loudspeakers. ‘Police must immediately stop firing stun grenades at worshippers, and the youth must calm down and be quiet!’

Israeli police intervene in Muslim worshippers with stun grenades and plastic bullets in Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday

Israeli police intervene in Muslim worshippers with stun grenades and plastic bullets in Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday

Israeli police intervene in Muslim worshippers with stun grenades and plastic bullets in Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday

Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed into the hilltop 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

Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed into the hilltop 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

Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed into the hilltop 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

Crowds of Palestinian protesters gathered outside the mosque to celebrate Ramadan

Crowds of Palestinian protesters gathered outside the mosque to celebrate Ramadan

Crowds of Palestinian protesters gathered outside the mosque to celebrate Ramadan  

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

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

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

Israeli police duck behind a wall for cover as they tackled the mounting tensions

Israeli police duck behind a wall for cover as they tackled the mounting tensions

Israeli police duck behind a wall for cover as they tackled the mounting tensions

There were scenes of chaos outside the mosque as tensions flared once again between Israeli police and Palestinians

There were scenes of chaos outside the mosque as tensions flared once again between Israeli police and Palestinians

There were scenes of chaos outside the mosque as tensions flared once again between Israeli police and Palestinians

Israeli police are pictured lined up outside the mosque after successfully dispersing the crowd

Israeli police are pictured lined up outside the mosque after successfully dispersing the crowd

Israeli police are pictured lined up outside the mosque after successfully dispersing the crowd

Israel’s Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the Sheikh Jarrah evictions on Monday, the same day that Israel marks Jerusalem Day – its annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war.

The Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said 88 of the Palestinians injured were taken to hospital after being hit with rubber-coated metal bullets.

One of the injured lost an eye, two suffered serious head wounds and two had their jaws fractured, the Red Crescent said. The rest of the injuries were minor, it added.

A police spokeswoman said Palestinians had thrown rocks, fireworks and other objects towards officers, with some of the six injured requiring medical treatment.

‘We will respond with a heavy hand to any violent disturbance, rioting or harm to our officers, and will work to find those responsible and bring them to justice,’ the spokeswoman said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he ‘held (Israel) responsible for the dangerous developments and sinful attacks taking place in the holy city’ and called on the U.N. Security Council to hold an urgent session on the issue.

Violence has also increased in the occupied West Bank, where two Palestinian gunmen were killed and a third critically injured on Friday after they opened fire at an Israeli base, police said. After that incident, Israel’s military said it would send additional combat troops to the West Bank. 

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 number of injured rose to 178 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus gate of the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem on late Friday. Pictured, Israeli police

The number of injured rose to 178 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus gate of the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem on late Friday. Pictured, Israeli police

The number of injured rose to 178 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus gate of the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem on late Friday. Pictured, Israeli police

Stun grenades were set off as part of efforts to disperse the angry crowd on Friday

Stun grenades were set off as part of efforts to disperse the angry crowd on Friday

Stun grenades were set off as part of efforts to disperse the angry crowd on Friday

Israeli police intervened to try to disperse crowds angry about residents facing the possibility of eviction

Israeli police intervened to try to disperse crowds angry about residents facing the possibility of eviction

Israeli police intervened to try to disperse crowds angry about residents facing the possibility of eviction

Palestinians ducked for cover as they were pelted with stun grenades on Friday

Palestinians ducked for cover as they were pelted with stun grenades on Friday

Palestinians ducked for cover as they were pelted with stun grenades on Friday

The spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said the evictions, ‘if ordered and implemented, would violate Israel’s obligations under international law’ on East Jerusalem territory it captured and occupied, along with the West Bank, from neighbouring Jordan in 1967.

‘We call on Israel to immediately halt all forced evictions, including those in Sheikh Jarrah, and to cease any activity that would further contribute to a coercive environment and lead to a risk of forcible transfer,’ spokesman Rupert Colville said on Friday.

Washington was ‘deeply concerned about the heightened tensions in Jerusalem,’ said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter.

‘As we head into a sensitive period in the days ahead, it will be critical for all sides to ensure calm and act responsibly to deescalate tensions and avoid violent confrontation,’ Porter said.

The European Union, Jordan and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council have expressed alarm at the potential evictions.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Jordan had given the Palestinian Authority documents that he said showed the Sheikh Jarrah Palestinians were the ‘legitimate owners’ of their homes.

Israel’s ‘provocative steps in occupied Jerusalem and violation of Palestinian rights, including the rights of the people of Sheikh Jarrah in their homes, is playing with fire,’ Safadi said in a foreign ministry statement on Twitter.

Israel’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Palestinians were ‘presenting a real-estate dispute between private parties as a nationalist cause, in order to incite violence in Jerusalem.’ Palestinians rejected the allegation. 

Link hienalouca.com

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