JERUSALEM (AFP) – More than 100 Palestinians and 20 Israeli police were wounded in overnight clashes in annexed East Jerusalem, medics and the police said on Friday (April 23), as tensions mount over a police ban on gatherings and videos of attacks on youths.
The violence broke out outside one of the entrances to the walled Old City where far-right Jews had completed a march, during which participants harassed Palestinians and chanted “death to Arabs”.
There have been nightly disturbances in the area since the start of Ramadan on April 13 with Palestinians complaining that the police were blocking access to the promenade around the walls, a popular gathering place for Palestinians after the end of the daytime Ramadan fast.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said it had treated at least 105 people, with some 20 of them hospitalised.
The Israeli police said 20 officers were wounded, three of whom were taken to hospital.
They said “hundreds of rioters began disrupting the order violently including throwing stones and objects at forces” stationed near the Old City.
Tensions were high in Jerusalem after a series of videos posted in recent days showing young Arabs attacking ultra-Orthodox Jews, with Jewish extremists taking to the street bullying Arabs in nightly confrontations.
On Thursday (April 22) night, the Israeli extreme-right group Lehava organised a march ending opposite the Old City attended by hundreds to protest the anti-Jewish violence.
Videos on social media also showed Palestinians attacking ultra-Orthodox Jews in the early hours of Friday.
The police said more than 50 people detained overnight were taken for a remand hearing on Friday morning.