Action by Israeli ultranationalists injures more than 100 Palestinians

At least 100 Palestinians and around 20 Israeli policemen were injured in the early hours of Friday (23), after a night of clashes between far-right Jews, Palestinians and police in Jerusalem. The unrest occurred in the middle of Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims.

This action prompted the Israeli police to detain more than 50 people. On Thursday evening (22), ultranationalist Israelis marched, organized by the far-right Jewish movement Lahava, towards the Damascus gate, chanting “death to the Arabs” and “death to the terrorists”.

The protest was seen as a provocation and quickly generated clashes with Palestinians returning from night prayers on the mosque plaza, where the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque is located.

Palestinians gathered at the entrance to the Old City, located in East Jerusalem, and the police escorting the protest attempted to separate the groups – young Palestinians who set fireworks and set garbage cans on fire, and ultranationalist Israelis who shouted anti phrases. Arabs. .

Officers then began to disperse the protesters using tear gas and water cannons. A participant in the ultra-nationalist march, David, 40, told AFP news agency he lived far from Jerusalem, but decided to go to the scene to “support his own people.”

Since the start of Ramadan on April 13, there has been a series of violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis. Palestinians say the police tried to prevent them from holding their nightly meetings outside the Damascus Gate.

Security forces, for their part, say the measure is part of efforts to ensure Muslims arrive safely at the main Islamic prayer site at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

This Friday (23), the violence gave way to relative calm. Without clashes, 60,000 worshipers attended midday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque

PNA (Palestinian National Authority) President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the clashes and called on the international community to “protect” Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Speaking at the Security Council on Thursday, UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Tor Wennesland called for containing tensions. Jordan condemned provocations by extremist Jewish groups and called on Israel to end harassment of residents of Jerusalem’s Old City and end restrictions on access to Al Aqsa.

In an interview with Israeli Kan television on Friday, the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, said he was speaking to the Palestinian leadership in East Jerusalem to end “this unnecessary violence” which is happening less than a month after the Palestinian legislative elections.

On May 22, the Palestinians hold their first election in 15 years. Abbas and European countries have asked Israel for permission to vote in the country and for candidates to campaign in East Jerusalem, where 300,000 Palestinians live under Israeli control.

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