JERUSALEM — The noon Muslim prayers at one in every of Jerusalem’s holiest websites handed with out incident after earlier clashes between Israeli riot police and Palestinians erupted there round daybreak and left greater than 150 injured on Friday, the primary day of a uncommon convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter.
The violence capped weeks of escalating tensions in Israel and the occupied West Bank, and it led to fears of additional conflagrations within the coming days.
The morning clashes started at about 5:30 a.m. and lasted for greater than three hours on the web site, the Aqsa Mosque compound within the Old City, identified to Jews because the Temple Mount — a fancy that’s sacred to each religions. Tens of hundreds of Muslim worshipers had been gathered there for daybreak prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.
Palestinians threw stones on the police, who responded by firing sound grenades and rubber bullets. At least 158 Palestinians had been injured, based on the Palestinian Red Crescent, and the Israeli police stated that a number of officers had additionally been injured.
The violence ended after just a few hours, however many extra folks had been anticipated to pour into the Old City through the day for the weekly Friday Prayer and to have a good time Good Friday and the primary evening of Passover, which begins at sunset.
The confrontation raised the danger of additional escalation following a current wave of Palestinian assaults on Israelis and lethal Israeli raids within the occupied West Bank. Tensions and violence across the similar compound performed a central position within the buildup to an 11-day conflict final May between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Over the previous month, violence has escalated throughout Israel and the occupied territories with 5 Palestinian assaults that killed 14 folks in Israel in an unusually lethal wave. That prompted the Israeli navy to step up raids within the occupied West Bank which have left not less than 15 Palestinians lifeless. Israel stated that the raids had been geared toward stopping and deterring additional assaults, however Palestinians denounced them as a collective punishment.
The Israeli police and a few Palestinian worshipers stated that the clashes had been began by the Palestinians, whereas different witnesses stated that the police had fired the primary shot.
There have been expectations for weeks that tensions would rise surrounding the uncommon convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter.
In current days, hard-line Jewish activists had stated that they deliberate to mark Passover by slaughtering a younger goat on prime of Temple Mount, sacred to Jews as the positioning of an historical Jewish temple.
That would have damaged a longstanding Israeli coverage, geared toward avoiding the provocation of Muslim sensibilities, that technically bars Jews from working towards spiritual rites on the mount.
While Israeli officers have turn into more and more lenient about Jews quietly praying on the mount throughout morning visiting hours Sunday-Thursday, in current days the police have arrested a number of Jewish activists who had been suspected of planning to make the extra seen gesture of an animal sacrifice.
A Jewish man was stopped by the police on Friday morning whereas carrying a goat close to the mosque. The goat was confiscated.
Rumors had unfold on Palestinian social media that Jewish hard-liners would breach the Aqsa Mosque this weekend, resulting in requires Palestinians to defend the world.
Adding to the tensions, twice up to now week, Palestinian vandals broken a Jewish shrine within the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian authorities strongly condemned the storming of the Aqsa compound by Israeli police.
“The expulsion of the worshipers by force, repression and batons in preparation for the incursions of the Jewish extremists will ignite the fire of the religious war for which the Palestinians alone will not pay the price,” the Palestinian international ministry stated in an announcement.
Yair Lapid, the Israeli international minister, stated that his nation was dedicated to freedom of worship for folks of all faiths in Jerusalem.
“Our goal is to enable peaceful prayer for believers during the Ramadan holiday,” he stated in an announcement. “The riots this morning on the Temple Mount are unacceptable and go against the spirit of the religions we believe in.”