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More than 90 Palestinians injured after another night of clashes in Jerusalem

More than 90 Palestinians have been injured in another night of clashes in Jerusalem with tension throughout Israel, Gaza and the West Bank at its highest level in years.

In the south, a rocket was fired from the Gaza strip into Israel and Palestinians rioted along their side of the Israeli-built border fence.

The rocket landed in open ground prompting the Israeli Air Force to strike a military position belonging to the Hamas organisation, which governs within Gaza.

Palestinians pray in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday night

Image:
Palestinians pray in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday night

Hamas leaders said the protests along the Gaza fence were a response in solidarity with Palestinians injured in the Friday night clashes in Jerusalem where more than 200 Palestinians were injured in the worst night of violence since 2017.

90,000 Palestinian worshippers had gathered on Saturday night at the courtyard outside the Old City’s Al Aqsa mosque to mark Laylat Al Qadr, the holiest night in the month of Ramadan.

Israeli police, who had fired stun grenades in the courtyard and into the mosque on Friday, used sponge-tipped bullets, tear gas and water cannon to disperse protests against the police which began at the end of prayers.

The Al Aqsa complex is one of Islam’s most revered sites but is also the location of the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount.

People help an injured man in Sheikh Jarrah district. Pic: AP

Image:
People help an injured man in Sheikh Jarrah district. Pic: AP

The mosque courtyard sits adjacent to and above the Jewish Western Wall plaza. Police say they were forced to evacuate Jewish worshippers from the Western Wall area twice because of stone throwing.

More clashes took place at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City which has been a site of tensions throughout Ramadan and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood where an Israeli court is due to rule on an eviction order against Palestinian homes to make way for Jewish settlers.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, the Israeli police initially prevented ambulances from reaching the injured.

Eleven people were taken to hospital. Six of the wounded are under 18, including a one-year-old.

Israeli security forces during a demonstration against the planned eviction process in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Pic: AP

Image:
Israeli security forces during a demonstration against the planned eviction process in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Pic: AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held meetings with his defence minister and military chief ahead of Jerusalem Day, marking the city’s reunification by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967, which begins at sunset on Sunday.

There are expectations of further serious clashes on Monday because of a confluence of controversial moments.

Parades by Jewish nationalists through Jerusalem’s Old City are planned for Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Some will march through the Muslim quarter and are likely to be given access to the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa compound.

And on Monday morning, three Supreme Court justices are expected to hear requests from three Palestinian families who live in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood to cancel their eviction orders.

The Quartet of Middle East negotiators – the United States, the European Union, Russia and the UN – expressed ‘deep concern” over the violence on Saturday.

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