Israeli police clash with Palestinians in Jerusalem hours after Gaza truce

Filed on May 21, 2021


The Israel-Hamas ceasefire went into effect on Friday.

Israeli police fired stun grenades towards Palestinians who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers outside Jerusalem's flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday, just hours after Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire in Gaza.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said stones were thrown at officers who were at one of the gates on standby.

"Units responded and entered the Temple Mount area. They are dealing with these disturbances in order to contain the situation," he added.

At noon, thousands of Palestinians gathered in the tree-lined compound surrounding the mosque for Friday prayers. Many stayed on to demonstrate in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, cheering and waving Palestinian flags.

A Reuters photographer said police fired stun grenades towards the Palestinians. It was not immediately clear what set off the clashes.

The confrontations died down within about an hour, with Israeli police retreating to their positions at the compound's gates. Medics said 20 Palestinians were wounded, with two transferred to hospital for treatment.

Al Aqsa Mosque complex, which sits atop the Old City plateau known to Muslims worldwide as Al Haram Al Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount. Police also hurled stun grenades at a group of Palestinians marching through the grounds.

The site is one of the most sensitive sites in the Middle East conflict and a buildup of clashes there earlier in May touched off the Israel-Hamas conflict when the militant group began firing rockets from Gaza in response and Israel countered with air strikes.

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