At least 10 arrested in second night of clashes at Damascus Gate

Bennett visits injured Border Police officers • Lapid's Damascus Gate visit was a "provocation" - Hamas

 Israeli police officers seen during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 3, 2022. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Israeli police officers seen during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 3, 2022.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

At least 10 people were arrested during a second consecutive night of clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police at the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday night, according to police.

Video from the scene showed rioters violently clashing with police forces, with rioters throwing objects at and getting into fistfights with security forces.

Bottles, iron rods and other objects were thrown by rioters at police officers at the scene, injuring at least one officer lightly.

According to the Red Crescent, 19 Palestinian rioters were injured during the riots.

Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited the Damascus Gate for a situation evaluation with police, alongside deputy public security minister Yoav Segalovitz, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and Foreign Ministry director-general Alon Ushpiz.

Israel Police clash with Arab rioters at the Damascus Gate, April 3, 2022 (Credit: Israel Police)

Hamas spokesman in Jerusalem Muhammad Hamada warned that Lapid's visit and the clashes at the Damascus Gate were a "dangerous escalation" and a "provocation" during Ramadan.

Hamada added that Hamas holds Israeli leaders responsible for the "consequences" of the situation, saying: "We and our people have taken the pledge to protect Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa with strength and by all available means."

Former Israel Police Jerusalem district commander Arieh Amit criticized Lapid's visit to the area, telling 103FM radio on Monday that "All the entrances of politicians to places like this are usually for them be seen on TV and heard on the radio. It never helps. There are many times it just stirs things up."

On Monday, a 21-year-old east Jerusalem resident was arrested for sharing inciting videos on TikTok which included calls for violence against Israelis and commendation of the terrorists who have carried out recent attacks across Israel.

The arrest comes amid a crackdown against Palestinian incitement on social media by Israel Police, in an attempt to stifle the violent incidents that have plagued Israel during the current wave of terror.

On Sunday, another east Jerusalem TikTok user, 20, was arrested as part of that crackdown.

 Israeli police officers seen during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Israeli police officers seen during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Israel Police Jerusalem District head of operations Wassam Ali told Army Radio that it seemed unlikely the clashes were sparked by Lapid's visit as clashes took place at the Damascus Gate on Saturday night also. "This was a legitimate visit. Everyone who want to support the police will be gladly received."

Sigal Bar Zvi, the head of Israel Police's Operations Department, stated on Monday that the "triggers that existed before Operation Guardian of the Walls - still exist now," according to KAN news.

On Saturday night, at least four Palestinians were arrested amid clashes between rioters and police at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Earlier on Saturday night, a small group of Jewish youth was seen marching towards the gate. shouting "death to Arabs" and "revenge" among other slogans.

The violence at Damascus Gate comes amid tensions throughout Israel and the West Bank after a series of terrorist attacks in Beersheba, Hadera and Bnei Brak.

Last year, clashes at the Damascus Gate were part of the tensions leading up to Operation Guardian of the Walls, which Hamas blamed on tensions in Jerusalem, specifically in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and at the al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the two Border Police Counterterrorism Unit officers hospitalized at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center for injuries suffered during Friday night’s West Bank operation.

"There was heavy gunfire...I heard a burst of bullets fly past me and then I felt the impact," Sgt.-Maj 'A' told Bennett. "I was calmed by the bullet hitting my shoulder. I told my unit that everything's alright and to keep going."

"It was a familiar situation for me, the gunfire did not take me by surprise," Sr.-St.-Sgt.-Maj. 'T' told the prime minister. "I knew we were going to war...I knew I would win and [the terrorists] will die."

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.