Clashes Erupt In Jerusalem Mosque 152 Injured
Israeli police said “dozens of masked men” marched into Al-Aqsa setting off fireworks before crowds hurled stones towards the Western Wall — considered the holiest site where Jews can pray.
Witnesses said Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who fired rubber-coated bullets and sound grenades.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said 153 people were hospitalised and “dozens” of others were treated at the scene. Israeli police said at least three officers were hurt.
Around 400 people were arrested, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club said.
The clashes come after three weeks of deadly violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank, and as the Jewish festival of Passover and Christian Easter overlap with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Al-Aqsa is Islam’s third-holiest site. Jews refer to it as the Temple Mount, referencing two temples said to have stood there in antiquity.
Last year during the Muslim fasting month, clashes that flared in Jerusalem, including between Israeli forces and Palestinians visiting Al-Aqsa, led to 11 days of devastating conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Friday’s “riots” were “unacceptable”.
“The convergence of Passover, Ramadan and Easter is symbolic of what we have in common. We must not let anyone turn these holy days into a platform for hate, incitement and violence,” he said.
UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland urged “the authorities on both sides to immediately de-escalate the situation and prevent any further provocations by radical actors”, a position echoed by the US Palestinian Affairs Unit and the EU’s diplomatic.