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Jerusalem violence: More clashes ahead of nationalist march Jerusalem violence: More clashes ahead of nationalist march
(about 1 hour later)
Hundreds of Palestinians and more than 20 police officers have been injured in the violenceHundreds of Palestinians and more than 20 police officers have been injured in the violence
There have been clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police outside the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, ahead of a planned Jewish nationalist march.There have been clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police outside the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, ahead of a planned Jewish nationalist march.
More than 200 people were injured, as crowds threw stones and officers fired stun grenades in response.More than 200 people were injured, as crowds threw stones and officers fired stun grenades in response.
It comes amid soaring tensions in the city, which has seen weeks of unrest.It comes amid soaring tensions in the city, which has seen weeks of unrest.
Earlier, Israeli police decided to bar Jews from visiting the compound where the mosque is located during the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March.Earlier, Israeli police decided to bar Jews from visiting the compound where the mosque is located during the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March.
The event marks Israel's capture of East Jerusalem - home to the Old City and its holy sites - in 1967, and usually sees hundreds of flag-waving Israeli youth make their way through Muslim areas, chanting and singing patriotic songs.The event marks Israel's capture of East Jerusalem - home to the Old City and its holy sites - in 1967, and usually sees hundreds of flag-waving Israeli youth make their way through Muslim areas, chanting and singing patriotic songs.
It is regarded by many Palestinians as a deliberate provocation. This year's march is also taking place in the final days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.It is regarded by many Palestinians as a deliberate provocation. This year's march is also taking place in the final days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, is located on a hilltop complex known by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and by Jews as the Temple Mount. Jews revere it as the location of two Biblical Temples and it is the holiest site in Judaism.The al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, is located on a hilltop complex known by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and by Jews as the Temple Mount. Jews revere it as the location of two Biblical Temples and it is the holiest site in Judaism.
The latest violence follows days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the nearby Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem, with the possible eviction of Palestinian families from their homes there by Jewish settlers a focal point for Palestinian anger.The latest violence follows days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the nearby Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem, with the possible eviction of Palestinian families from their homes there by Jewish settlers a focal point for Palestinian anger.
Israel's Supreme Court had been due to hold a hearing in the long-running case on Monday, but the session was postponed due to the unrest.Israel's Supreme Court had been due to hold a hearing in the long-running case on Monday, but the session was postponed due to the unrest.
The UN Security Council will meet on Monday to discuss the situation.The UN Security Council will meet on Monday to discuss the situation.
What happened at the al-Aqsa mosque?What happened at the al-Aqsa mosque?
Israel's police force said thousands of Palestinians barricaded themselves in the building overnight with stones and Molotov cocktails in anticipation a confrontation during the Jerusalem Day Flag March, which was scheduled to start at about 16:00 (13:00 GMT).Israel's police force said thousands of Palestinians barricaded themselves in the building overnight with stones and Molotov cocktails in anticipation a confrontation during the Jerusalem Day Flag March, which was scheduled to start at about 16:00 (13:00 GMT).
Extremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots today on the #TempleMount. What we see now is the result of that. We guarentee the freedom to pray, not the freedom to riot and attack innocent people. The police is working to restore calm.#Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/QGcg2StfgXExtremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots today on the #TempleMount. What we see now is the result of that. We guarentee the freedom to pray, not the freedom to riot and attack innocent people. The police is working to restore calm.#Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/QGcg2StfgX
Officers were ordered to enter the mosque compound to "repel the rioters using demonstration dispersal methods" on Monday morning after a police post was attacked and stones were thrown towards a nearby road, it added.Officers were ordered to enter the mosque compound to "repel the rioters using demonstration dispersal methods" on Monday morning after a police post was attacked and stones were thrown towards a nearby road, it added.
For over an hour, police fired stun grenades at Palestinians who threw stones and other objects.For over an hour, police fired stun grenades at Palestinians who threw stones and other objects.
Video posted online appeared to show that some of the stun-grenade canisters fired by the police in response landed inside the mosque.Video posted online appeared to show that some of the stun-grenade canisters fired by the police in response landed inside the mosque.
The rising tensions have prompted international calls for calm and restraintThe rising tensions have prompted international calls for calm and restraint
The Palestinian Red Crescent said more than 215 Palestinians were injured, and that at least 80 were taken to hospital for treatment. One person was in a critical condition, it added.The Palestinian Red Crescent said more than 215 Palestinians were injured, and that at least 80 were taken to hospital for treatment. One person was in a critical condition, it added.
The Israeli police force said nine officers were injured, one of whom needed hospital treatment.The Israeli police force said nine officers were injured, one of whom needed hospital treatment.
During clashes outside the Old City walls, a car was pelted with stones before crashing into bollards and hitting a man.During clashes outside the Old City walls, a car was pelted with stones before crashing into bollards and hitting a man.
Jerusalem, a short while ago: A Jewish man narrowly escapes lynching after his car is pelted with rocks. A policeman on the scene stops the violent mob. pic.twitter.com/OmkwkfGPQvJerusalem, a short while ago: A Jewish man narrowly escapes lynching after his car is pelted with rocks. A policeman on the scene stops the violent mob. pic.twitter.com/OmkwkfGPQv
"Extremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots today on the Temple Mount," Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted after the clashes. "What we see now is the result of that." Monday's flare-up follows a weekend of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police around the al-Aqsa mosque, which left hundreds of people injured.
Hundreds of people were left injured in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces over the weekend around the al-Aqsa mosque.
Confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis were also reported in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, and near the West Bank city of Ramallah.Confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis were also reported in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, and near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, which is the custodian of Jerusalem's Islamic and Christian holy sites, condemned "Israeli violations and escalatory practices at the blessed al-Aqsa mosque".King Abdullah II of Jordan, which is the custodian of Jerusalem's Islamic and Christian holy sites, condemned "Israeli violations and escalatory practices at the blessed al-Aqsa mosque".
Jordan assumed custody of the sites when it occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1948 Middle East war, and was allowed to continue the role after the areas fell to Israel in 1967.Jordan assumed custody of the sites when it occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1948 Middle East war, and was allowed to continue the role after the areas fell to Israel in 1967.
The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the US, the EU, Russia and the UN - has also expressed deep concern over the violence, urging all sides to show restraint.The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the US, the EU, Russia and the UN - has also expressed deep concern over the violence, urging all sides to show restraint.
What is fuelling the violence? Why is Jerusalem a flashpoint?
Tensions have escalated since the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in mid-April, with a series of events driving the unrest. The city, with its sacred sites, is the most sensitive place of all in the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
As Ramadan began, clashes erupted nightly between police and Palestinians protesting against security barriers outside Damascus Gate, which had prevented them from gathering there during the evening. Alongside its religious importance are national claims too - Israel in effect annexed East Jerusalem and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by most other countries.
Palestinians claim the eastern half as the capital of a hoped-for state of their own.
Why the ancient city of Jerusalem is so importantWhy the ancient city of Jerusalem is so important
Palestinian anger was further exacerbated by a march by ultra-nationalist Jewish extremists, close to the same area, held in protest at a spate of videos posted on social media that showed Palestinians assaulting ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city, and by revenge assaults on Palestinians by Jewish extremists. The hilltop compound containing the al-Aqsa mosque and buttressed by the Jewish holy site of the Western Wall is especially sensitive, with both Israel and Palestinians wary of each other's intentions and activities there.
The fate of East Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming the right to it. Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, in a move not recognised by the vast majority of the international community, and considers the entire city its capital. Israel says the current violence there was planned "well in advance" by Palestinian extremists, though a series of events has driven unrest in Jerusalem.
Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the future capital of a hoped-for independent state. Palestinian anger fuelled in the past few days by the uncertain fate of the families in Sheikh Jarrah came after a month of escalating tensions in the city.
After Ramadan began in mid-April, clashes erupted nightly between police and Palestinians protesting against security barriers outside Damascus Gate, worsening after a march by ultra-nationalist Jewish extremists angry over assaults by Palestinians on ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Meanwhile rare Palestinian elections planned for this month were called off by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who blamed restrictions on Palestinian voting rights in East Jerusalem, in a move which further angered Palestinians. Critics suggested Mr Abbas feared a victory by his party's Islamist challengers Hamas.