May 18, 2021

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Jerusalem: dozens of Palestinians injured in clashes between Israeli police as Jewish extremists chant “Death to the Arabs”

Jerusalem: dozens of Palestinians injured in clashes between Israeli police as Jewish extremists chant "Death to the Arabs"


The violence marks a culminating point so far in a new phase of complex escalating tensions in the city, which began a week and a half ago around the start of Ramadan, and prompted an unusual statement Friday morning from the US embassy in Jerusalem. in which he invited “all the responsible voices [to] promote the end of incitement. “

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the area around the Damascus gate on Thursday evening to protest the closure of the square space in front of the gate, a popular place for young Palestinians, especially during Ramadan.

Glass bottles and stones were thrown at the police, who used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons that spray stinky “skunk water” in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

At one point, a group of young people managed to knock down a pole with a security camera mounted on top and turn it on, temporarily creating a barricade.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 105 Palestinians were injured, of whom 22 required hospital treatment.

Nearby, the police used their barricades to prevent a march of hundreds of supporters of the Jewish extremist movement “Lehava” from reaching the same area.

Social media videos show hundreds of people marching along one of Jerusalem’s main arteries, Jaffa Street, towards the Damascus Gate, chanting “Death to the Arabs” over and over.

Israeli media reports that Lehava supporters threw stones at police and videos on social media show the use of police water cannons to disperse them.

Lehava was encouraged by the recent election to the Israeli parliament of several extremist-racist politicians, all openly courted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his constant attempts to form a new government.

Tensions have been further exacerbated by a series of videos posted on Tik Tok over the past two weeks that apparently show acts of aggression, including one purporting to show a young Palestinian slapping two religious Jews on the city’s light rail.

The violence continued until Friday morning with incidents reported throughout the city, including one captured in a video apparently showing Palestinian youths repeatedly kicking a Jewish man in East Jerusalem as he lies on the ground in an attempt to protect his head. .

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Another video appears to show young religious Jews attacking an Arab family home throwing sticks and other objects into the complex as a child is heard screaming.

Police say twenty of their officers were injured, three of whom were taken to hospital.

There have been 44 arrests, police say.

In a noteworthy development, the US embassy released a statement on Friday morning, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, stating: “We are deeply concerned about the violence in Jerusalem in recent days. We hope that you will. all responsible voices promote an end to incitement, a return to calm and respect for the safety and dignity of all in Jerusalem “.