Monday, June 21, 2021

Israel: Fresh Clashes At East Jerusalem Flashpoint

Fresh clashes at East Jerusalem flashpoint; 20 Palestinians, 1 Israeli wounded

Palestinian protesters and Jewish residents clashed late Monday in a volatile East Jerusalem neighborhood before police moved in to disperse the Palestinians, wounding at least 20.

Jewish residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood said protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Jewish homes, lightly wounding a pregnant woman who was hit in the head with a stone.

The neighborhood has been the scene of frequent clashes in recent weeks over the impending eviction of Palestinian families and the violence has spilled over into wider conflict in Jerusalem and beyond. The Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip used the clashes as a pretext to fire rockets at Jerusalem sparking a 11-day conflict with Israel.

After the protesters attacked a Jewish home, residents responded with rocks and pepper spray and a brawl broke out.

Police then used riot dispersal means, including batons, tear gas, “skunk” water cannons and sponge-tipped bullets.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 20 Palestinians had been treated, including 3 for pepper spray, 13 from tear gas inhalation, two hit by sponge-tipped bullets, and two with wounds from being hit by batons.

The rescue service also accused Jewish residents of stoning an ambulance.

At least two Palestinians were arrested for throwing firebombs at Jewish homes.

The pending Sheikh Jarrah evictions have sparked widespread anger among Palestinians and Arab Israelis and international condemnation.

Palestinians and members of the international community accuse Israel of seeking to “Judaize” East Jerusalem by slowly evicting hundreds of families and replacing them with Jewish ones. Israel maintains that East Jerusalem is a part of its undivided capital and that the Jews moving into neighborhoods there do so legally.

Recent days have seen frequent clashes amid fears of renewed fighting with Hamas over the situation in the Holy City.

On Friday there were clashes during prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount compound.

Palestinian worshipers could be seen raising the Palestinian flag following the Friday prayers.

The clashes occurred after the Israel Defense Forces conducted airstrikes on Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday night in response to ongoing arson attacks from the enclave.

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