Violence breaks out in Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israelis leading to dozens of arrest

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On late Thursday, clashes erupted at the Damascus Gate of the old Jerusalem city between Palestinians and far-right Jews, leading to dozens of arrests.

The unrest continued even on Friday night as Palestinian youth gathered around the Israel-Gaza frontier pelting stones at the Israeli police who were fencing the walled Old City to control the riot situation. Reports highlighted that the holy city of Muslims, Christians and Jews had been witnessing clashes between Israelis and Palestinians almost every night since the beginning of Ramadan on April 13.

Palestinians accused Israeli forces of stopping them from holding their usual Ramadan evening gatherings after the evening prayers and daytime fast outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate. The Israeli forces had set metal barriers in its amphitheatre-style plaza, to control the crowd. To add to the ongoing ruckus, far-right Jews took to streets in the Old City protesting against Arabs and chanting slogans like “Death to Arabs” and “Arabs get out!”.

The issue sparked with a series of videos, which went viral on social media, wherein some showed Palestinian youth hitting and assaulting religious Jews in the city, while other showed Jews mistreating and attacking Arabs. The issue further escalated as Palestinian militant group, Hamas joined in clashes in response to the attacks from Jews and Israeli forces. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, fired three rockets toward Israel on late Friday. The Israeli military said that two of its rockets fell near Gaza frontier and while the third was intercepted by Israeli air defenses. The forces did not report any casualty.

The US embassy expressed deep concern over breaking out of violence in the city and urged the authorities to restore peace. In its statement, the embassy said, “We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem.”

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