More than 200 hurt as Israeli police clash with Palestinians at Jerusalem mosque, Palestinian Red Crescent says


Eighty-eight of the injured were taken to hospital for treatment, with most suffering from wounds caused by rubber-coated bullets, the Red Crescent said. About 20 were treated in field hospitals set up to cope with injuries from the most significant night of unrest in the city for years.

Video showed stun grenades going off across the mosque compound – known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews – with some landing inside the mosque building and scattering worshipers.

Tension had been rising in East Jerusalem in previous days over the possible eviction of Palestinian families living there. On Wednesday night, 22 people were injured in a neighborhood there, according to the Red Crescent, two of which needed hospital treatment.

In that incident, dozens of supporters of the families threatened with eviction gathered outside the houses in question, chanting and singing songs, with about 20 Jewish Israelis also gathered nearby playing loud music. Violence broke out after Palestinian protesters refused to follow police instruction to clear the road. As police moved in, fighting broke out.

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On Friday, police say at least six officers were wounded when clashes broke out after worshipers started throwing rocks and other objects. Palestinians say the unrest was triggered after some of them were prevented from entering the mosque compound and attempted to move away police barricades.

Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of worshipers had gathered at the site for midday prayers.

Israeli security forces deploy during clashes with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, on May 7, 2021.

Many waved Palestinian national flags, as well as the green flag of Hamas. They sang songs in support of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where several Palestinian families are fighting eviction from their homes.

There were also chants calling on Mohammed Deif, leader of the Hamas armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, to follow through on his threat from earlier in the week to “make the enemy pay dearly [for] the aggression against our people.”

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry in a statement condemned what it called “the Israeli authorities’ storming of the mosque” and called on Israel to uphold its responsibility to protect Palestinian civilians and their right to practice their religion freely.

That message was echoed by Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, which said, “the storming of the sanctuary and the assault on the peaceful worshipers is a grave violation, a barbaric act, and is strongly condemned and rejected.”

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the international community needed to provide protection for Palestinians and in particular urged the Biden administration to pressure Israel to stops its attacks “so that matters do not reach a stage that cannot be controlled.”

Reporting came from Kareem Khadder, Abeer Salman and Andrew Carey in Jerusalem and Ibrahim Dahman in Gaza.



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