At the Jerusalem holy site, Palestinians scuffle with Israeli police, wounding 152 others

At the Jerusalem holy site, Palestinians scuffle with Israeli police, wounding 152 others ...

  • Hundreds of Palestinians detained -Israeli government
  • Israel on alert after recent deadly Arab street attacks
  • Jerusalem clashes pose risk of relapse into wider conflict
  • Jordan condemns police entry into Al-Aqsa mosque compound

On Friday, at least 152 Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli riot authorities at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, extending a recent resurgence of violence that prompted fears of a return to larger conflict.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that rubber bullets, stun grenades, and beatings with police batons caused the majority of the Palestinian deaths. This is the most dangerous spot in the years-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After a series of deadly Arab street attacks in the region over the past two weeks, Israeli security officials have been on high alert. The dangers of crashing down the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem's closed Old City are at the center of a broader conflict.

The Al-Aqsa compound sits on the Old City plateau of East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, and is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount.

After Ramadan morning prayers, Israeli police said hundreds of Palestinians hurled firecrackers and stones at their forces in the Old City.

According to the reports, police entered the Al-Aqsa complex to "dispere and push back (the crowd and) enable the rest of the worshippers to leave the building safely", adding that three cops were injured in the clashes.

In a tweet, police detained hundreds of Palestinians, according to a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

"We are working to resurrect peace on the Temple Mount and across Israel. Alongside that, we are preparing for any scenario, and the security forces are fully equipped for any task," Bennett said.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, referring to the Al-Aqsa violence, said it "holds Israel fully and directly responsible for this crime and its consequences."

During clashes with Palestinian demonstrators at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City April 15, 2022, Israeli security forces move in positions. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

'FLAGRANT VIOLATION'

"Immediate action from the international community is needed to stop Israeli aggression against the Al-Aqsa mosque and prevent things from falling out of control," said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who governs Israeli-occupied areas.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, said Israel "prepares responsibility for the consequences."

Jordan described the Israeli police raid into the building as a "false violation."

Jordan's Hashemite ruling family is the custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem. Israel recognized the Hashemite's role as custodian of Al-Aqsa as part of the 1994 peace treaty, and maintains overall security control over the site.

Tensions this year have been increased in part by Ramadan, which has been linked to the Jewish feast of Passover.

During the Muslim fasting month, nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police sparked the violence. Threats of Palestinian displacement in East Jerusalem and police raids at Al-Aqsa aided in an 11-day Israeli confrontation that killed over 250 palestinians in Gaza and 13 people in Israel.

As in the course of conducting raids in the West Bank, Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians, killing 14 Israelis in a series of attacks on Israeli cities.

Al-Aqsa is Islam's third holiest site, which is often seen as the site of two ancient temples by Jews.

Israel declares Jerusalem to be its eternal, unvisible capital. Palestinians seek to make East Jerusalem, including its Muslim, Christian, and Jewish holy sites, the capital of a future state.

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