Clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police on the Esplanade of the Mosques in Jerusalem left more than a hundred injured on Friday.

'111 wounded were transferred' to hospitals in Jerusalem and 'dozens' more were treated at the site, Palestinian Red Crescent official says of violence in Jerusalem's Old City , located in an area occupied since 1967 by Israel.

For its part, the Israeli police reported at least three wounded in its ranks during these clashes which were essentially over around 9:30 am local time on the esplanade.

“Dozens of young masked rioters”

Third holiest site in Islam, the Esplanade of the Mosques - also called Temple Mount by the Jews - is located in the Old City in East Jerusalem, the scene of numerous violent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators.

During Ramadan in 2021, the holy month of Muslims, nocturnal demonstrations in Jerusalem and clashes even on the esplanade had turned into eleven days of war between the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, and Israel .

On Friday, witnesses reported Palestinians throwing stones at Israeli security forces and firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinian protesters.

Around 4 a.m., "dozens of young masked rioters", some displaying themselves with flags of the armed Islamist movement Hamas, "started a procession" on the Esplanade des Mosques, and threw stones towards the Wall of The adjacent Lamentations, the most important place of prayer in Jewish tradition, said the Israeli police said they intervened to "restore order".

According to an AFP photographer on the spot, the clashes were fed and more than a hundred Palestinians threw projectiles in the direction of the Israeli security forces.

Between violence and Ramadan

Jordan administers the Esplanade of the Mosques, where the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located, but access to this place is controlled by Israel.

Shortly before the start of the month of Ramadan this year, on April 2, senior Israeli and Jordanian officials stepped up talks to ensure both freedom of worship and security at the site in the hope of avoiding further clashes. .

Our dossier on Jerusalem

These clashes on the Esplanade of the Mosques are the first this year since the beginning of Ramadan, a period of large gatherings for Muslims on this sacred place, which also sometimes serves as a sounding board for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And this weekend, in the middle of Ramadan, the authorities feared slippages in the holy city with the start of the Christian Easter and Jewish celebrations of Passover, accompanied by prayers at the Wailing Wall, a rare coincidence of the calendars between the three great monotheistic religions.


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