News / Middle East

Palestinians, Israelis Clash at Jerusalem Holy Site

Luis Ramirez

Thousands of police have deployed in Jerusalem following clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police. Tensions rose further when Israeli police entered the holy precinct known to Muslims as the Haram al Sharif, and the Temple Mount to Jews.

East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was the scene of sporadic clashes throughout the day Wednesday. Fighting on the streets escalated after an Israeli security guard in the neighborhood of Silwan shot and killed a Palestinian.  

Witnesses say the guard opened fire after getting pelted by rocks from Palestinians.

After the Palestinian man's funeral, violence spread to other neighborhoods of predominantly Arab East Jerusalem with demonstrators throwing rocks and setting cars on fire. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that later, a group of Palestinians threw stones at Israelis near the Western Wall, a Jewish holy site at the base of the Temple Mount.

"Our units entered the Temple Mount after stones were thrown at police officers that were adjacent to the Western Wall," said Micky Rosenfeld. "It was necessary to enter using a minimum amount of force and disperse those rioters. There were approximately 50 masked Israeli Arabs that entered the al-Aqsa mosque. And once they entered and retreated back into the al-Aqsa mosque, the Israeli police went down from the Temple Mount."

The al-Aqsa mosque sits inside the holy precinct and is Islam's third holiest site.

The neighborhood of Silwan where the clashes began has been the scene of tension between Jews who have in recent years been moving in, and longtime Arab residents who accuse the Israelis of trying to push them out.

Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian government spokesman, condemned Israelis for what he said was an unnecessary use of force. He says the fighting highlights what he described as the problem of Jewish settlers in lands claimed by the Palestinians.

"This renewed violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers is very dangerous especially in terms of its timing," said Ghassan Khatib. "And, such increase in Israeli violence and settler violence is the direct result of the presence, of the illegal presence, of Jewish settlers inside the Palestinian territories and Palestinian populated areas."

The violence comes weeks after Israel and the Palestinians resumed direct peace negotiations. The presence of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is a major sticking point in the talks.

The Palestinians have threatened to quit negotiations if Israel does not extend a partial construction freeze in settlements that is due to expire on Sunday.  U.S. diplomats say they are working to get both sides to reach a compromise before the deadline.  

Palestinian officials say scores of Arab residents were injured in the clashes Wednesday.  Israel says at least eight Israelis were also hurt when Palestinians attacked them with rocks in various parts of East Jerusalem.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid