Jordan Accuses Israel of 'Allowing Extremists to Attack Palestinians' in East Jerusalem

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Police block members of Lahava from approaching Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City yesterday.
Police block members of Lahava from approaching Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City yesterday.Credit: Ariel Schalit / AP

Jordan blamed Israel on Friday for a series of violent attacks targeting Palestinians in Jerusalem the night before, as the U.S. Embassy in Israel called for "an end to incitement" after a far-right march in the city, which followed days of escalating tensions in the city.

Israel's Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, issued a statement later on Friday, condemning attacks against Jews in the city, but made no mention of attacks against Arabs, which on Thursday alone ended with more than 100 wounded.

Ohana said Jerusalem Police would bolster its presence "to protect the safety and security of law-abiding residents," and added forces should act "using all means, power and strength needed to restore order."

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The commander of the Jerusalem district, Superintendent Doron Turgeman, also refrained from referring to violence committed by Jews, although he noted that police were active "both in East Jerusalem and in the west of the city." Turgeman condemned the violence of "extremist groups," connected the violence to Ramadan and added: "I want to tell the public and leaders from the Arab sector - it is important to take responsibility, and lead a quiet Ramadan." He said that all of perpetrators of the violence will be brought to justice.

A statement from Jordanian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Deifallah Fayez called on Israel, "in its capacity as the occupying power" in East Jerusalem, to respect international law and end "provocations and aggression" against the city's Palestinian residents. 

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Fayez, in an Arabic-language statement, claimed that Israel prevented residents from accessing the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and called it a "violation of Muslims' freedom of worship."

"We are deeply concerned about the incidents of violence that occurred in Jerusalem over the last several days," said the U.S. Embassy in a statement also on Friday. "We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem."

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes in Jerusalem yesterday.Credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters

Dozens were wounded and more than 50 arrested in clashes last night and at a demonstration by far-right anti-Arab group Lehava. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that 105 Palestinians were injured during the clashes, 22 of whom were sent to hospitals. Additionally, a Jewish driver was attacked and injured by Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Lehava's demonstration was intended "to restore Jewish dignity," following a series of videos posted on Tiktok depicting Palestinians attacking Jews near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City.

The demonstration saw hundreds of far-right extremists march toward Damascus Gate shouting "Death to Arabs," where they tried to break through checkpoints set up by police, who responded with riot control gear against both the far-right protestors and Palestinians.

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