Clashes Between Israeli Police and Palestinians in Jerusalem Claim Dozens of Wounded
Israeli police clashed again with Palestinian believers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Monday. The Hamas movement has threatened the state of Israel that if it does not withdraw the police and armed forces from the Temple Mount by evening, there will be an attack. This happened after 17:00 CET, when rockets were fired from the Gaza strip at Jerusalem. At least seven rockets were fired from the Gaza strip at Jerusalem. A number of other cities and border areas are also on standby. The Israeli air force attacked the Palestinian Gaza Strip in retaliation.
On Monday, Israel celebrates „Jerusalem Day“, which commemorates the occupation of the eastern part of the city by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel annexed East Jerusalem to the rest of the city and now claims the entire metropolis. This is contrary to international law, and the Palestinians still want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. The Palestinians consider the planned march on the occasion of Jerusalem Day to be a provocative attempt by the Israelis to prove domination over a city whose status is disputed.
Riots have started after the start of the fasting month of Ramadan in mid-April, when Israel restricted Palestinians from gathering at places where Arabs usually gather for evening prayer. In recent days, tensions have fueled the impending forced evictions of dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem. Israeli settlers want to move into their homes.
Today’s clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police on the Temple Mount have left about 300 wounded, as the Palestinian Red Crescent stated. Thirty people were hit by rubber bullets. There were 21 wounded police officers and six civilians on the Israeli side. Israeli authorities have banned about 150 Jewish nationalists from entering the Temple Mount. According to the AP agency, Israeli police used tear gas and stun grenades against the Palestinians. Palestinians from the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex threw stones at an adjacent road. According to the Palestinians, stun grenades were thrown into the mosque complex and dozens of people were injured.
The Al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem's Old City is one of Islam's most revered locations, but its location is also the holiest site in Judaism, known as the Temple Mount.
The quartet of Middle East negotiators, the US, the EU, Russia and the UN, has expressed deep concern over the violence, urging all sides to show restraint. A US State Department spokeswoman said Washington was "deeply concerned about the heightened tensions". The European Union condemned the violence and said "perpetrators on all sides must be held accountable". The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, urged both parties to "respect the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City in the interest of peace & stability." The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement: „This development of events is perceived with deep concern in Moscow. We strongly condemn attacks against civilians. We call on all parties to refrain from any steps fraught with the escalation of violence.”
The Israeli government’s national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, said the international intervention only benefits rioters and those who send them. American political advisor Jake Sullivan has previously called for Israel’s moderation over the planned displacement of Palestinian families from the suburbs of Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that a „fight for the heart of Jerusalem” is taking place. According to him, the international media reports on the events in an erroneous and misleading way.
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the intervention of Israeli forces. "The Israeli occupation forces' brutal storming and assault on worshippers in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque and its courtyards is a new challenge to the international community," he said recently. According to him, the actions of the Israeli forces mean a new challenge for the international community, especially for the efforts that are going on in the region from the new US administration.
Hamas launched a rocket attack on Jerusalem, israel responded with an air strike
The Palestinian radical group Hamas gave Israeli security an ultimatum to withdraw from the Temple Mount until 17:00 CEST, otherwise they will attack. Hamas’ ultimatum expired and the group fired missiles at Jerusalem. The missiles were also aimed at southern Israel, where one hit a car and one hit a man. The Israeli air force attacked the Palestinian Gaza Strip in retaliation. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, twenty people died in the attack, including a high-ranking Hamas member and nine children. According to the Israeli army, it was aimed at the objects of Hamas and its eight representatives. Two places where radicals launch rockets and two observation posts were allegedly hit. According to Palestinian sources, nine people died in the attack, including a high-ranking Hamas member and three children.
The southern Israeli city of Sderot was simultaneously attacked by another radical Islamic Jihad group, which announced that it had fired thirty rockets from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army announced that one of the rockets hit a civilian car and injured a person.
Palestinians fired 150 rockets from the Gaza strip at Israel this Monday. However, dozens of them were shot down by the Jewish state’s air defense system, as the Israeli army stated. According to Israeli army, the firing of missiles continues.
Israeli military spokesman Hidai Zilberman said the violence would likely last for several days. "Hamas will feel the long arm of the Israeli army in the coming days," he said. The military is also preparing for a wider conflict and does not rule out resuming liquidation operations against radical leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened with vigorous retaliation.
An anti-Israel demonstration was held in the Jordanian capital of Amman in support of the Palestinians, in which participants demanded that the Israeli ambassador be removed from Amman and that the embassy be abolished.
Following Monday’s developments, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is calling on both parties to reduce tensions in the region. Mr. Blinken also demands that Hamas stop attacking with missiles. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote on Twitter: “The UK condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel. The ongoing violence in Jerusalem and Gaza must stop. We need an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and end to targeting of civilian populations."
The escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem will be discussed at a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday.