Clashes have broken out again on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli police say.
Thousands of Israeli police and border police personnel were deployed to the Old City area.
Today marks the Day of Jerusalem, established in honor of the city’s transition to Israeli control after the six-day war. A flag-bearing procession is usually held on this day, but this time the police closed the Temple Mount to Jews.
The clashes take place at the Moroccan Gate.
“A few minutes ago, Palestinian rioters attacked the Moroccan gate to the Temple Mount. This forced the police to intervene to disperse them,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman, Ofir Gendelman wrote on Twitter.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA claims that the police pulled a large force into the area of the al-Aqsa Mosque, placed snipers in the courtyards, and used tear gas to push people away from the mosque. Several people were detained. According to the mosque’s director, Omar al-Kiswani, the police “carried out an unprecedented, barbaric attack.”
Dozens of people in the al-Aqsa mosque were injured by rubber bullets and suffered from suffocation,” the agency writes.
The Palestinian Red Crescent, for its part, reports that hundreds of people were injured in the clashes, with at least 50 requiring hospitalization. At the same time, the police do not allow medics to enter the territory of the mosque to help the wounded, the organization said.
The clashes in East Jerusalem have been going on for several days. Initially, they broke out in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where several Arab families are being evicted by an Israeli court, and on the evening of May 7, they spread to the Temple Mount, where hundreds of believers gathered. According to the Red Crescent, more than 300 Palestinians have been injured in recent days, and the Israeli police reported at least 17 injured law enforcement officers.