Protests Spread to Major Israeli Arab Cities Amid Jerusalem Tensions, Violence

Red Crescent reports 520 Palestinians injured in Jerusalem clashes on Monday

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A protest underway in Jaffa today.
A protest underway in Jaffa yesterdayCredit: Tomer Appelbaum

Israeli police are working to quell protests in the Temple Mount complex and in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah on Monday evening, and clashed with demonstrators at locations throughout the country as tensions rise in Jerusalem.

Hundreds of Palestinians are rioting on the Temple Mount, police said, and officers and Border Police are using crowd control measures against them. Palestinians are "throwing massive stones at police forces stationed at the gates of the Temple Mount," the police statement added.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 520 Palestinians in all were hurt in clashes with police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday, 333 of whom were evacuated to the hospital with injuries and rubber bullet wounds. 

In the central Israeli city of Lod, about 200 masked protesters have gathered outside the municipality building, burning trash cans and throwing stones and fireworks at police. Police are responding with pepper spray, batons and stun grenades. Two people were wounded – one moderately and one seriously – in the clashes in the city's Ramat Eshkol neighborhood.

The shooting in Lod

A number of synagogues in the city have been vandalized by the rioters, and part of its new cemetery has been set on fire. A bus on the main street was pelted with stones until it shut off, and a Judaica store's windows were shattered. The central Bialik Street was closed off due to fires. 

In Isawiyah, police said suspects are throwing stones, burning trashcans and hurling burning tires and firebombs. One Border Police officer was hit in the head by a stone and required medical attention.

In nearby Ramle, a few dozen protesters set trashcans and tires ablaze, vandalized a gate around the city's fast lane construction work and pelted an Egged bus, which had no passengers, with stones. The police responded by throwing stun grenades, and arrested 18 suspects.

Israeli police also clashed with protesters in Jaffa and in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which have both seen major demonstrations over the past weeks against plans seen by residents as attempts to push Arabs out.

Protests are continuing in other sites as well, including in Haifa, where 15 people were arrested in clashes with police. There are also demonstrations and riots in Nazareth, Kafr Kana, Kafr Manda, Shfaram, Majdal Krum, Deir Khana, Umm al-Fahm, Baka al-Garbiyeh, Taibeh and Jaljulya. Protesters in a number of places have blocked local roads and have ignited tires. In most cases the police have not intervened, but 46 suspects were arrested in all at protests throughout the north. 

Outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, Palestinians threw stones at police stationed at the site; two suspects were arrested by Border Police and taken in for questioning.

Cars set ablaze in Lod, overnight

Meanwhile, a tree caught fire outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the blaze was quickly put out and no damage was caused to the mosque, witnesses told Reuters. Witnesses said the blaze was caused accidentally by Palestinians who had thrown fireworks. Israeli police and Palestinians had clashed at the site earlier in the day.

In Jaffa, some 200 protesters came out to protest in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah and against plans to sell a local building to a yeshiva, seen as part of an effort to push the city's Arab residents out.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, today.Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI - AFP

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