- Palestinians allowed entry to a sq. that grew to become the main target of nightly Ramadan clashes with Israeli police.
- The clashes adopted the beginning of Ramadan on April 13 and laid naked simmering tensions within the holy metropolis.
- Violence peaked on Thursday when 100 individuals had been reportedly injured as Israeli police arrested scores of protesters.
Palestinians gathered in celebration exterior Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on Sunday evening after boundaries put up by Israeli police had been eliminated, permitting them entry to a sq. that grew to become the main target of nightly Ramadan clashes between the 2 sides.
1000’s crammed the East Jerusalem plaza late on Sunday, some waving Palestinian flags, after police permitted them entry to the tiered entrance to Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis that may be a common night-time assembly place throughout the Muslim holy month.
Scuffles broke out, nonetheless, as Israeli police waded into the group to confiscate the flags.
Amid the celebratory scenes that went on into Monday morning, Ahmad Tibi, a lawmaker from Israel’s Arab minority, criticised what he known as the “mistaken” determination to place the steel barricades up within the first place.
“The decision to reopen is right,” he informed Reuters exterior Damascus Gate. “It is a good decision in the right direction, but they should stop attacking Palestinians.”
The clashes adopted the beginning of Ramadan on April 13 and laid naked simmering tensions within the holy metropolis.
There have been confrontations between stone-throwing youths and police in riot gear making an attempt to disperse them, utilizing horses and autos spraying foul-smelling skunk water.
The anger spilled over into the occupied West Financial institution, which noticed protests in solidarity with East Jerusalemites, and dozens of rockets fired by Palestinian militant teams from Gaza into Israel.
Violence peaked on Thursday when Palestinian medics stated 100 individuals had been injured as Israeli police arrested greater than 50 protesters, at the same time as lots of of ultra-nationalist Israelis marched by way of central Jerusalem in direction of Damascus Gate chanting: “Death to Arabs”.
It subsided over the weekend, and movies on Sunday shared on social media confirmed Palestinians taking down the boundaries after night Ramadan prayers, though Israeli police stated they ordered their elimination in gentle of the “unprecedented events” of latest days.
“It was ordered to remove the barriers after consultations with religious authorities, local leaders and shop owners,” an Israeli Police spokesman told Reuters. He said the decision was taken “to ensure peace and security for all” in Jerusalem.
Appeals for calm
Measures to ease the tensions came after international appeals for calm, amid fears that the clashes could escalate out of control given Jerusalem’s status as a key fault line in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The immediate cause of the dispute was Palestinian anger at an Israeli police decision to prevent crowds from gathering outside the gate, a historic landmark.
Meanwhile, Israelis were angered by videos on social media purporting to show Palestinian youths striking ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city, drawing calls by far-right politicians for tougher police action.
Israel captured and occupied East Jerusalem in a 1967 war, later annexing it unilaterally. The Israeli government regards the whole city as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognised internationally.
Palestinians feel equally strongly, saying that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Hussein Hamayel, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, said the outcome “proved the power and composure of our nice individuals” towards Israel, its army and settlers.
In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem additionally hailed it as a victory. “The youth of Jerusalem forced the occupation to remove the checkpoints,” Qassem informed Reuters.
The Israeli army stated late on Sunday that Palestinian militants had fired one other rocket in direction of Israel, however that it fell quick and exploded in Gaza.
Israel stated that due to the persevering with rocket hearth, it could prohibit the fishing zone within the Gaza Strip to 9 nautical miles from 15 beginning at 6 a.m. and till additional discover.