Israeli police on the Temple Mount
Photo: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS
Almost 170 people were injured in serious clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police in East Jerusalem on Friday.
In front of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, believers attacked the security forces with stones, while the police fired rubber bullets at the attackers.
The clashes came against a backdrop of mounting tensions in the Israeli-occupied territories.
The USA called for de-escalation.
The Palestinian Red Crescent announced that dozens of Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets from the police during the clashes on the Temple Mount.
There were violent clashes in other parts of the city, as reported by AFP reporters.
The Red Crescent spoke of a total of 163 Palestinians injured.
The aid organization set up a field hospital on the Temple Mount.
On the last Friday of the Islamic month of fasting Ramadan, thousands of believers gathered on the Temple Mount for prayer.
According to the Israeli police, who guard the entrances to the area, the officers were then pelted with stones, bottles and fireworks by "hundreds of rioters".
Six police officers were injured.
Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Israeli government
Smoke rose over the old town and dozens of shots could be heard.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Israeli government for the unrest and called the demonstrators "heroes".
Most recently, violent clashes with several injured people on the Temple Mount occurred in August 2019.
The Temple Mount is a holy place not only of Islam but also of Judaism and Christianity.
The US expressed "deep concern" about the situation in Jerusalem.
The Foreign Ministry called for "de-escalation" and warned of steps that could worsen the situation.
The ministry was referring to evictions and Israel's settlement activities.
Tensions over impending evictions
There is currently massive tensions between Israelis and Palestinians because of the threat of evictions for Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, which is annexed by Israel.
For a few days now there have been daily protests, some of them violent.
Also on Friday, numerous demonstrators gathered in the Sheikh Jarrah district, where more than 30 Palestinians are threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.
The police dispersed the crowd with stun grenades.
Israel occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem in the Six Day War in 1967 and annexed it in 1980.
The annexation is not recognized internationally.
Earlier this year, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the homes of Palestinian families rightfully belonged to Jewish families.
Under Israeli law, Jewish Israelis can claim ownership of houses in East Jerusalem in court if their ancestors owned land there prior to the Arab-Israeli War (1948-49)
cop / AFP