International

Israeli police arrest dozens after clashes

Israeli police say 44 people were arrested and 20 officers were wounded in a night of chaos in Jerusalem, where security forces separately clashed with Palestinians angry about Ramzan restrictions and Jewish extremists who held an anti-Arab march nearby.

Tensions have spiked in recent days in Jerusalem, which has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Residents braced for possible further unrest as police stepped up security and the U.S. Embassy appealed for calm.

There were concerns the violence could reignite following Friday prayers at a major holy site in Jerusalem, but thousands of worshippers dispersed peacefully after Muslim religious leaders called for restraint. The Islamic militant group Hamas meanwhile staged demonstrations across Gaza reiterating its support for armed struggle.

Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police on a nightly basis since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramzan. The tensions began when police placed barricades outside the Old City's Damascus Gate, where Muslims traditionally gather to enjoy the evening after the daytime fast.

Late Thursday, hundreds of Palestinians hurled stones and bottles at police, who fired a water cannon and stun grenades to disperse them. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded in the melee.

Meanwhile, a far-right Jewish group known as Lahava led a march of hundreds of protesters chanting “Arabs get out!” toward the Damascus Gate. The show of force came in response to videos circulated on TikTok showing Palestinians slapping religious Jews at random. Other videos made in response to them appear to show Jews assaulting Arabs.

Police used metal barricades to halt the far-right protesters a few hundred meters (yards) from Damascus Gate. Later, they used water cannon, stun grenades and mounted police to push them back toward mostly Jewish west Jerusalem.

Videos circulated online showed smaller clashes and fires elsewhere in the city.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 6:54:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/israeli-police-arrest-dozens-after-clashes/article34395689.ece

Next Story