JERUSALEM: Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades towards rock-hurling Palestinian youth at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid growing anger over the potential eviction of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.
Palestinian military doctors and Israeli police said that at least 205 Palestinians and 17 policemen were injured in night clashes around the Third Holy Land of Islam and East Jerusalem. Hundreds of Israeli police in riot gear confronted each other.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, tensions intensified in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, with clashes at Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem at night. In this community, many Palestinian families have been deported due to prolonged legal proceedings.
The United States and the United Nations called for calm and restraint on Friday, and other countries, including the European Union and Jordan, expressed shock at the possible deportation.
Earlier Friday, thousands of Palestinians crowded into the hilltop compound surrounding the mosque to pray. Many people continue to protest the deportation of the center 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.