A tense Ramadan for families in Jerusalem as clashes continue

Joanna Estrada
May 10, 2021

Protesters threw rocks and water bottles at police.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported a total of seven injuries from Damascus Gate and Sheikh Jarrah, including four hospitalisations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that law and order would be maintained in Jerusalem, as would the right to worship.

The statement urged the Israeli authorities to honor their responsibilities under global law by providing the necessary protection for Palestinian civilians and respecting their right to perform their religious rituals.

People help an injured Palestinian woman during a protest in Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, 8 May 2021.

That apparently did little to allay concern in Europe and among regional powers like Jordan and United Arab Emirates, which condemned Israel's conduct around East Jerusalem.

Fierce clashes with police around the city's Al-Aqsa mosque have left hundreds injured.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Israeli police's "storming" of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, saying it was a "provocation to the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world, and a severe violation of human rights and worldwide accords".

Amid growing worldwide calls for a de-escalation, Tunisia said the UN Security Council was to hold a closed-door meeting Monday, at its request, on the violence.

The US, EU and the Middle East Quarter were among those to have call for calm in Jerusalem. Officers responded with rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannons.

Israeli national police commissioner Yaakov Shabtai said he had ordered the reinforcements ahead of Laylat al-Qadr, saying "the right to demonstrate will be respected but public disturbances will be met with force and zero tolerance". It said one rocket was intercepted, while two others exploded inside Gaza.

Eight Palestinian children have been arrested, it said. Israeli police gave the go-ahead to the parade Sunday, despite days of unrest and soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions at a flashpoint holy site and in a nearby Arab neighborhood where Jewish settlers are trying to evict dozens of Palestinians from their homes.

A lower court ruling earlier this year backing the settlers' decades-old claim to the plots infuriated Palestinians.

Israel's attorney-general secured a deferment on Sunday of a court hearing on planned evictions of Palestinians in Jerusalem, a session that had threatened to stoke more violence in the holy city and heighten global concern.

The justice ministry said on Sunday that in light of "all the circumstances", it would delay the court hearing.

The late-night skirmishes raised the likelihood of further clashes Monday during the annual Jerusalem Day celebrations.

Mohammad, a shopkeeper selling incense and prayer robes in the Old City, said Israeli police told him he must shut his doors Monday afternoon, when Israeli Jews plan to march with Israeli flags to mark Jerusalem's "reunification".

The violence in Jerusalem was "an attack on all Muslims", he said, adding that "protecting the honour of Jerusalem is a duty for every Muslim".

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas voiced "full support for our heroes in Al-Aqsa". Israel has cast the evictions case as a real estate dispute.

He urged all countries, in particular Muslim countries, to react and called on the United Nations to "stop this persecution".

Gazan protesters affiliated with Hamas militant group also launched incendiary balloons into southern Israel during the day, causing dozens of fires.

In the Palestinian Gaza Strip, hundreds of protesters gathered along the border with Israel.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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