Jerusalem, new clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police: hundreds injured
Violence also this morning with the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March, which marks the Israeli conquest of the city. The judges overturned the sentence scheduled for today in legal battle over the ownership of some houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Netanyahu threatens an iron fist. Pope and international community appeal for calm.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the third consecutive night, the Israeli police engaged in heavy clashes with young Palestinians in Jerusalem. The international community is closely following the evolution of the situation and Pope Francis himself yesterday, at the Regina Caeli, expressed "concern".
The alert in the area remains high, with new violence erupting this morning near Temple Mount in conjunction with the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March led by nationalist Jews.
Hundreds of Palestinians and about twenty Israeli policemen have been injured in the violence of the last three days.
Two factors that have led to the escalation of recent days, as Muslims celebrate Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer. On the one hand, the International Day of Jerusalem - the anniversary of the conquest of the city in 1967 by the Israeli army - traditionally honoured by a march with the flags.
This year the commemoration is compounded by the Supreme Court ruling, due yesterday, postponed to today and finally cancelled at the request of the State Attorney General Avichai Mandelbli, relating to the possession of some properties in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Dozens of Palestinian families’ risk being thrown out of their homes for the benefit of Jewish settlers, as part of a story that goes beyond the legal sphere in court. Judges are expected to set a date within the next 30 days.
In the night clashes, Palestinian protesters threw rocks and stones in the direction of the Israeli police, who responded using grenades and water cannons. The violence was concentrated near the Damascus gate in the old city. Palestinian medical sources speak of numerous injuries. Scuffles between the two fronts also occurred over the weekend in the northern city of Haifa and near Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the management of public order and the use of force by the police towards Palestinian protesters. The government, he said, "will not allow any radical element to undermine the calm" in the city, even though the situation is now out of control and there is a strong risk of further escalation as Israel experiences a political and institutional crisis that could undermine the stability of the area.
Meanwhile, Jordan, the guardian of Muslim sacred places in Jerusalem, has condemned the use of force by Israel and Tunisia has asked for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council for this afternoon. The Quartet of Middle East negotiators made up of the European Union, Russia, the United States and the United Nations expresses "deep concern" and appeals to Israel asking for "restraint".
The ongoing march of Israelis close to Zionism represents a further and deliberate provocation for the Palestinians, adding to the tension sparked by the Sheikh Jarrah controversy. More than 300,000 Palestinians and about 210,000 Israeli settlers live in the area and tension is at its peak. The legal battle for many Palestinians constitutes "definitive" proof of an Israeli project aimed at erasing their presence from the holy city.