May 7, 2021

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Israeli police clash with Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem

2 min read

The Israeli police and Palestinians clashed outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls overnight into Sunday as tensions flared during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear deployed around the Old City after nightly clashes spilled into the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank. Some Palestinians threw stones and bottles as police on horseback dispersed the crowds, though the violence appeared less intense than on previous nights.

The protests spread to several cities in the West Bank and along the Israel-Gaza border. The Israeli military said it dispersed hundreds of Palestinians, some throwing rocks and burning tyres.

There have been nightly disturbances since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 13, amid Palestinian anger over police blocking off access to the promenade around the walls of the Old City and a ban on gatherings.

A series of videos posted online have also shown young Arabs attacking ultraorthodox Jews, and Jewish hardliners taking to the streets to bully Arabs.

A march into the heart of Arab East Jerusalem by hundreds of supporters of far-right Jewish nationalist group Lehava added fuel to the fire.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion told public radio he was in talks with Palestinian community leaders in East Jerusalem “to end this pointless violence” and he had tried to cancel Thursday’s far-right march.

The office of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas condemned “the growing incitement by far-right Israeli settler groups advocating for the killing of Arabs”.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi condemned “racist attacks” by Israelis against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and called for “international action to protect them”.

“Jerusalem is a red line and touching it, is playing with fire,” he warned.

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