Violence erupts in East J’lem after weekend attacks

For the first time during Ramadan, police put limitations on Muslims entering the Temple Mount; seven arrested in clashes.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
August 21, 2011 02:33
1 minute read.
Police roadblock in east Jerusalem's Ras El Amud A

police al aksa pretty 311 AJ. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Jerusalem police faced the third and so far the most violent Friday of Ramadan, a traditionally tense time when thousands of people pour into the Old City to pray at the Aksa Mosque, in the shadow of the previous day’s terrorist attacks in the South.

Seven were arrested in clashes at Damascus Gate and at the entrance to the Temple Mount in several incidents.

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In the largest clashes, dozens of Muslims tried to force their way through a police checkpoint outside Damascus Gate. Police broke up the riots using water cannons and shock grenades. Two people were arrested.

For the first time during Ramadan, police had put limitations on Muslims entering the Temple Mount, allowing only men over age 50 and women over age 40 with blue Israeli ID cards to enter. These limitations are put in place when violence is anticipated, and in this case were a response to Thursday’s terrorist attacks near Eilat.

Hundreds of Muslims who had been denied entry to the Old City stayed to pray outside Damascus Gate, where police and border police, including mounted officers, waited tensely.

Prayers ended without additional violence.



In other incidents, one youth was arrested at Lion’s Gate for trying to circumvent the police blockade and another youth was arrested in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood for throwing rocks and firecrackers at a checkpoint.

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