Israeli police injure dozens of Palestinians in Jerusalem

The bangs of stun grenades reverberated at the edge of the Old City in latest night of violence

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At least 80 people were injured on Saturday in clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police around Jerusalem, as Muslims at Al Aqsa Mosque marked the holy night Laylat Al Qadr.
Medics treated people hit by rubber bullets, hurt by stun grenades, or beaten, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said, following international condemnation over a surge in violence in Jerusalem.


"Those injured include several children under 18, among them a one-year-old child and a paramedic," said the organisation.
The bangs of stun grenades reverberated at the edge of the Old City, where heavily armed police on foot and horseback chased young Palestinians away from Damascus Gate.
Those demonstrating responded by lighting fires in the street and hurling stones and plastic bottles at officers.

After a police lorry squirted foul-spraying liquid across the area, shopkeepers tried in vain to wash away the stench while in the Old City someone handed out masks to passers-by.
Police said riots had taken place and that they would "continue to act decisively against lawbreakers".


Damascus Gate has been hit by near-nightly protests during Ramadan, initially after Israeli authorities prevented people from gathering in the adjacent plaza. Although tensions temporarily eased after the barriers were removed, the situation has deteriorated significantly in recent days.
The latest unrest comes a night after clashes between Israeli security forces and worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
About 215 Palestinians and 18 police officers were injured across occupied East Jerusalem, in the worst night of violence in the city this Ramadan.
Israeli police said hundreds of people threw stones and other objects at officers at the mosque compound, where tens of thousands of worshippers had gathered.

The EU, Russia, UN and EU, which make up the Middle East Quartet, expressed deep concern over the violence.
"We call upon Israeli authorities to exercise restraint and to avoid measures that would further escalate the situation during this period of Muslim holy days," the Quartet said.
UAE Minister of State Khalifa Shaheen Almarar expressed the country's "strong condemnation of the storming of Al Aqsa Mosque".
Gaza rulers Hamas have warned Israel over its actions in Jerusalem. In the early hours of Sunday, the Israeli military said a rocket had been fired from the coastal Palestinian enclave.

Prayers proceeded in relative calm at Al Aqsa on Saturday evening, the most sacred night during Ramadan.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli police closed the main highway into Jerusalem and said officers were removing passengers they suspected of wanting to stoke violence in the city. Some of those travelling to Al Aqsa abandoned their vehicles and began to walk.

Beyond the Old City, there were further confrontations between Palestinians and police in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Protests have gathered pace there in recent weeks as dozens of residents have been served eviction orders, which could see Israeli settlers soon moving into their homes.

The supreme court could rule as early as Monday on whether to hear an appeal by the residents. Tensions in the city are expected to be high that day, as Israel celebrates its 1967 takeover of East Jerusalem.

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