Ten Palestinians arrested as protesters decry Jerusalem restrictions, far-right Israeli mobs

Ten Palestinians arrested as protesters decry Jerusalem restrictions, far-right Israeli mobs
Israeli police fired tear gas at Palestinians who gathered in protest against restrictions imposed during Ramadan.
2 min read
25 April, 2021
Tensions are running high in the holy city [Getty]
At least 10 Palestinians were arrested on Saturday evening as protesters took to the streets of Jerusalem in response to far-right violence and restrictions imposed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Demonstrations have been a nightly occurence in Jerusalem since Thursday evening, when Jewish Israeli extremists marched through the city to chants of "Death to Arabs". More than a hundred Palestinians were wounded in the resulting clashes with police and far-right activists.

Tensions were already running high as Israeli authorities imposed record curbs on access to key sites in occupied east Jerusalem during Ramadan.

Israel routinely curbs access to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque complex, one of Islam's holiest sites, but such restrictions are more severe during Ramadan.

This year, Israeli authorities have also prevented people from gathering at the Damascus gate entrance to Jerusalem's Old City. The area is usually a home to festivities during the holy month.

Residents of the area, located in occupied east Jerusalem, say it is the first time authorities have completely blocked it off during Ramadan.

Dozens of young Palestinians returned to the Damascus gate area on Saturday evening to protest the restrictions. Demonstrators also gathered at the Herod gate entrance to the Old City.

Police fired tear gas and flashbangs at worshippers who gathered at the Damascus gate to perform Tarawih prayers, a nightly prayer performed during Ramadan.

At least ten people were arrested, according to Israeli daily Haaretz. One policeman was filmed slapping a Palestinian before arresting him.

Around a hundred demonstrators also gathered at the Qalandiya checkpoint that seperates the occupied West Bank from Jerusalem.

The soaring tensions in Jerusalem have also sparked protests elsewhere in the West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel has illegally occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Israeli authorities annexed east Jerusalem shortly afterwards, sending hundreds of thousands of settlers to live there in contravention of international law and evicting Palestinians from their homes in an attempt to alter the demographic make-up of the holy city.

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