Clashes erupted between Palestinians, Jews and Israel Police near the Lions' Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, shortly before Friday prayers were set to begin at al-Aqsa Mosque.
لحظات اعتداء الاحتلال على المصلين بقنابل الغاز في باب الأسباط عقب محاولة مستوطنين اقتحام الأقصى pic.twitter.com/sgaYGFYd7H— القسطل الاخباري | القدس (@AlQastalps) May 19, 2023
Footage reportedly from the scene showed Jews dancing and singing in the area before fights erupted and police intervened, throwing stun grenades into the crowd. Amid the clashes, the windshields of vehicles belonging to Palestinians were smashed as well, according to the reports. A number of Palestinians were reportedly injured amid the violence.
مستوطنون يحطمون مركبات مقدسيين في منطقة باب الأسباط بالقدس المحتلة pic.twitter.com/toxbUWvsAg— القسطل الاخباري | القدس (@AlQastalps) May 19, 2023
Israel Police stated objects and stones were thrown at police officers operating in the area, injuring several people, including a police officer. The police worked to restore order and prevent confrontations while using riot dispersal methods.
Two Israelis were lightly injured by stone-throwing during the clashes, according to Magen David Adom.
تغطية صحفية: "جانب من تصدي المصلين لمسيرة المستوطنين بمنطقة باب الأسباط بالقدس المحتلة قبل قليل". pic.twitter.com/rp5oxlHebw— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) May 19, 2023
"Israel Police will continue to act resolutely against violence of any kind, disturbance of the public order and attempts to harm police officers or citizens against the law," police said.
Clashes come amid Jerusalem Day festivities
The clashes come a day after about 50,000 Israelis marched through the Muslim and Jewish quarters of the Old City as part of the Jerusalem Day flag march. Jerusalem Day itself is officially marked this year on Friday, but the festivities were moved a day earlier in order to avoid the desecration of Shabbat.
On Friday morning, thousands of worshippers arrived at the Western Wall for festive prayers to mark Jerusalem Day.