Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site

Katie Ramirez
May 10, 2021

At least 205 Palestinians and 18 Israeli officers were injured in Friday's confrontations, which drew global condemnations and calls for calm. There were more skirmishes near the Old City's Damascus Gate.

While five-term incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was originally given a mandate to attempt to piece together a governing coalition, he missed the deadline, prompting President Reuven Rivlin to give Yair Lapid, who heads the oppositional Yesh Atid party, the opportunity to piece together a government.

The violence, along with the planned evictions in east Jerusalem, have drawn condemnations from Israel's Arab allies and expressions of concern from the United States, Europe and the United Nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled closed consultations Monday on the soaring tensions in Jerusalem.

A number of global voices have expressed concern over what was happening in East Jerusalem, including The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the USA, the EU, Russia and the UN.

At least 80 people were injured, including minors and a one-year-old, and 14 were taken to hospital, the Palestine Red Crescent said.

The European Union (EU) condemned violent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and urged authorities to calm tensions.

The envoys, through a joint press statement, said they were "closely monitoring" the situation in East Jerusalem, including in the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Eight Palestinian children have been arrested, it said. Police said dozens of protesters threw stones at officers there on Saturday.

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Weeks of unrest in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital, has multiple causes. On Monday, an Israeli court is expected to issue a ruling on the legality of the evictions. But on Sunday, the court, citing the current "circumstances", postponed the decision and said a new date would be set in the next 30 days.

The two nights of clashes took place around Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, a frequent flashpoint for violence.

But Jerusalem remained on edge ahead of a march planned for Monday to commemorate Israel's takeover of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, an anniversary known as Jerusalem Day in the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, there are growing concerns that the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March - which traditionally sees thousands of Zionist youth march through the Muslim Quarter of East Jerusalem's Old City - could lead to more violence.

Palestinians and global rights groups portray the planned evictions as an ongoing campaign by Israel to drive Palestinians from traditionally Arab neighbourhoods, especially in the heart of Jerusalem.

It urged the worldwide community to work to end "repeated Israeli aggression" against the Palestinians and Al-Aqsa.

Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip have voiced support for the Palestinian protesters and warned Israel of retribution if evictions proceed in Sheikh Jarrah.

"I am glad that the Arab League has called an emergency meeting in this regard".

Four rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel on Sunday, the army said, as well as incendiary balloons that started 39 fires on Israeli territory, according to the fire services.

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