The recent weeks have seen heated tensions between Jews and Arabs, particularly with the possible eviction of dozens of Palestinian families from Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood fueling the situation.
The city of Jerusalem saw heated squabbles between Palestinians and Israeli riot police on late Friday, with the latter saying that Palestinian worshipers who arrived at the Temple Mount started “disturbing the order” by throwing stones and fireworks.
At least 178 Palestinians were injured in clashes with police across Jerusalem on Friday, including near the Al-Aqsa mosque, the Palestinian Red Crescent said. Some 88 people were hospitalized, and most affected people suffered injuries to their faces and eyes after being hit but rubber bullets and shrapnel from stun grenades.
The clashes sparked after weeks of tensions between Jews and Arabs during the holy month of Ramadan, with recent Israeli court rulings looming that would make it possible for dozens of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to be evicted from their homes.
While the Palestinians point out they have been living in the area for generations, the Jewish settler organization Lahav Shomron and the deputy Jerusalem mayor, Aryeh King, claim that the land in question “rightfully” belongs to Jews.
At the end of the prayer on the Temple Mount, thousands of worshipers began to disturb the order, throwing stones and firing fireworks. Israeli police forces are operating at the scene and so far six policemen have been injured in the disturbances.
The district commander is in the arena assessing the situation and has ordered the continued increased alertness towards the end of the prayers”, according to an Israeli police tweet.
The plateau covers the ruins of the ancient Hebrew Temple, destroyed by Romans in 70 CE, and considered the holiest site in Judaism. The Mount is also sacred to Muslims, however, and is home to three mosques and four minarets.
The current unrest was triggered by a twist in a long legal battle between several Palestinian families and Israeli settlers that seek to displace them from the nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Palestinian protesters and Israeli police have clashed in the area throughout Ramadan.
As an Israeli high court judge is considering whether to overrule the Palestinians’ eviction, France, Germany and the UK have called upon Tel Aviv to cease its settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. The UN also warned Israel that its forced evictions in East Jerusalem might “amount to war crimes.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for a UN Security Council session about the clashes in East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Meanwhile, Qatar slammed the deployment of the Israeli security forces to the Temple Mount, which it called a “provocation” against millions of Muslims around the world.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.