Clashes in Jerusalem following noon prayer

Police said that clashes started after the rioters started to throw stones at the security forces.

July 21, 2017 14:06
2 minute read.

Riots throughout the West Bank on Friday, July 21, 2017.

Riots throughout the West Bank on Friday, July 21, 2017.


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Palestinians and police clashed near Lions' Gate following the noon prayer on Friday. Muslim worshipers also protested and clashed with police forces in Salah a-Din street, Ras al-Amoud, a-Tour and Wadi Joz.  At least three Palestinians were killed during the clashes.

Clashes were also reported at the Kalandia checkpoint and protests were held in Bethlehem, Tulkaram, Jericho and Hebron in the West Bank.

Police said that clashes started after the rioters started to throw stones at the security forces. Police used water cannons to disperse the rioters.

Inside the Old City, worshipers gathered after the prayer to protest. Near the Gate of the Council (Bab al-Majlis) the rioters were dispersed by stun grenades.

Some 10 people were arrested in Jerusalem, and other 17 in the West Bank, following the clashes.

Some 400 Muslims attended the prayer next to the Gate of the Tribes (Bab al-Asbat), the place that sparked the violence earlier this week. Before the prayer, the leader called on the attendees to be patient, and said that “the Jews, that are occupying Palestine, are on their way to hell.”

People waiting to pray told The Jerusalem Post that they opposed violence, and that eventually the Israeli government would remove the metal detectors. “We have patience,” they said.

Prayers were held all over the Old City, mainly next to police checkpoints. Following the Wakf’s call, people were trying to pray as close as possible to al-Aksa mosque, and the only Azzan (call to prayer) that was heard in the Old City came from the Temple Mount mosque.

Earlier this morning, the top police command held a special assessment meeting ahead of the prayer.

Police chief Roni Alsheich said that the police's duty was to allow worshipers to practice their beliefs, but at the same time not to allow people to break the law.

“We must remember that last’s week attack was a crossing of a red line,” he said. “They were trying to harm the delicate situation of the Temple Mount. But the Israel Police is here to prevent every attempt to unbalance the the order here.”

Alsheich also called on Palestinian leadership to prevent further escalation of the situation. “I call on Arab leadership to show responsibility and not to fan the flames,” he said.

Palestinians were demonstrating against the recently installed metal detectors at the gates of Temple Mount. Top Wakf leaders dubbed the installation as a severe violation of the status quo on the Temple Mount.

The move came following last Friday’s deadly attack at the compound, in which two Israeli policemen were killed.

Last night a security cabinet meeting was held to discuss this topic, and it was decided that the metal detectors would remain.

Three gates were open for Muslim worshipers as of Friday afternoon: The Gate of the Tribes (Bab al-Asbat), the Gate of the Council (Bab al-Majlis) and the Gate of Chain (Bab al-Silila).

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