Over 300 hurt in Jerusalem following violent riots
After the end of the month of Ramadan and an anniversary celebration of Jerusalem day, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police resulted in over 300 injured. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reports over 200 hospitalized Palestinians and police report over 21 officer injuries, and that’s not including those who are caught in the crossfire.
Protests over the evictions of Palestinian families have continued over the weekend. The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood saw many of its tenants receive eviction notices for not paying rent. Chief Rabbi Avraham Ashkenazi and Chief Rabbi Meir Orbach bought the property in 1875 and kept it until the war in 1948. In the meantime, Palestinians moved in. But, a recent Jerusalem District decision will allow for a number of upcoming evictions.
As the protests gained more traction, incidents of violence also rose. Even Pope Francis saw it necessary to comment to encourage that Jerusalem “may be a place of encounter and not of violent clashes.”
Police tried to limit clashes by redirecting a march scheduled for Monday to celebrate Jerusalem Day. The celebration is an anniversary of the war that won Israel parts of the city. It has historically ended at the Temple Mount, a partially walled block that shares space with the al-Aqsa mosque. The protests began at this site over the weekend. Instead of marching through the Muslim quarter’s Damascus gate as planned, police redirected the march to avoid the gate completely. They also kept Jewish groups from entering the Temple Mount plaza.
Yet, police officers, Jewish Israelis, and Palestinians alike were injured by stones, fireworks, flash grenades and rubber bullets. Videos posted to social media have captured the chaos. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) reposted one such video and alleged that praying Muslims were mistaken for protestors.
Eventually, al-Aqsa was closed to the public to prevent more clashes. Once the mosque and the protestors around were cleared out, police allowed those over 40 to enter because they were less likely to start confrontations.
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