News / Middle East

Palestinians, Israelis Clash at Jerusalem Holy Site

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid