Scores more wounded as Israeli police, Palestinians clash anew in Jerusalem
Sunday - 09/05/2021 08:58
Scores of people were injured Saturday as Israeli police fired water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian protesters in annexed east Jerusalem, a day after fierce clashes at the city's Al-Aqsa mosque.
Police said they dispersed the rally in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood where demonstrators had thrown stones at security forces.
Officials said Sunday a rocket had been fired from the Gaza Strip, with the Israel Defense Forces responding by striking a "military target" in the south. Earlier, officers had fired tear gas towards protesters on the border.
In Jerusalem, police said they made three arrests for attacks on officers, while Palestinians reported 13 other arrests earlier in the day.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 90 people were wounded in Saturday's clashes in Jerusalem, revising up their earlier estimate of 53.
AFP journalists in Jerusalem said Israeli riot police had fired rubber bullets, sound grenades and water cannon on Palestinians Saturday, some of whom threw projectiles at the police. One officer received a head injury, said police.
On Friday, riot police stormed Al-Aqsa mosque compound, after they said Palestinians threw rocks and fireworks at officers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the police actions.
"Israel is acting responsibly to ensure respect for law and order in Jerusalem while allowing freedom of worship," he said in a meeting of security officials.
The violence was the worst in years at Al-Aqsa, Islam's third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina, located on the site Jews revere as the Temple Mount.
A focal point
Palestinians have held nightly protests in Sheikh Jarrah against an attempt by Israeli settlers to take over Arab homes.
On Saturday, protesters chanted, waved Palestinian flags and threw stones before police moved in.
Dozens of Arab Israeli protesters also gathered across Israel in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah residents, holding up signs that read "the occupation is terrorism".