Calm Restored in Jerusalem and Gaza After Days of Clashes, Cross-border Attacks

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Palestinians in Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, two days ago.
Palestinians in Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, two days ago.Credit: Emil Salman
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

A day after Israeli police removed barriers from the Damascus Gate plaza in Jerusalem's Old City, no clashes were reported on Monday night, capping a week of violence that officials feared might spill into a wider escalation.

Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Hamas that have also been brewing over the past week have subdued, with no rocket fire from the Gaza Strip overnight.

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Israel's security cabinet had authorized a harsher military response if the launches persist, but attack plans approved by the ministers were not carried out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday the Israeli military "is prepared for any scenario," adding: "Our enemies should not challenge us."

Capoeira show at the Damascus Gate plaza, last night.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians danced and sang at the Damascus Gate plaza after the Israeli decision to remove barricades that were put up there about two weeks ago. The Jerusalem municipality also organized some events in the area in a bid to return to normalcy after days of clashes as Muslims mark the holy month of Ramadan.

At some point overnight police officers briefly dispersed the crowd after Palestinian flags were waved, but attendees were allowed back soon thereafter and police didn't put back the barriers they had removed.

In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah, residents reported an attempted assault by Jews targeting two 12-year-olds. In Abu Tor, on the outskirts of the Old City, Jewish residents said stones were thrown at their house. No casualties were reported in both incidents.

The Damascus Gate area has been a site of multiple clashes between Palestinians and police in the past weeks over an Israeli decision to put up barriers preventing people from sitting in the plaza, a popular public area during Ramadan, which started two weeks ago.

The clashes broke out after young Palestinian men tried to breach the barriers and involved dozens of police officers and residents, who hurled stones and bottles at the police.

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