Police clash with Palestinians in occupied West Bank, as two Israeli settlers are attacked in Mount Olives
Israeli forces clash with Hebron protesters
Image Credits: Israel Defense Forces
by AL-JAZEERA | NOVEMBER 21, 2014
Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank, as tensions remain high over right-wing Jewish demands to be able to pray inside Jerusalem’s holiest compound.
Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli police in Hebron on Friday, amid continuing tensions over fears that Israel wants to change the status quo at Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif by allowing Jewish prayer there.
At least five Palestinian protesters were wounded when security forces fired rubber-coated-steel bullets in the Abu Isneeneh neighbourhood of south Hebron.
Clashes also took place in Ramallah, Qalandiya, Kadom, Ofer, Jalazone, Silwad, AlRam and Nabi Salehat.
Sources told Al Jazeera that at least 10 people were wounded by either live or rubber-coated-steal bullets, while tens of Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.
Timeline: A review of the critical events that have marked the history of al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Israeli police continued to allow young Muslim worshippers to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque on Friday, having previously limited male entry to those under 60.
Israel eased restrictions at the site last week after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced agreement on steps to reduce tensions after talks in neighbouring Jordan, which has custodial rights at the compound.
Muslims officials said about 45,000 people attended Friday prayers at the mosque, with no serious incidents reported.
“It’s a pretty calm scene. [There are] more media here than anything,” said Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem.
The religious site, which is holy to Jews as well as Muslims, has been the focus of months of unrest in East Jerusalem, that has spread to the occupied West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, and raising the prospect of a new Palestinian uprising.
Meanwhile at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem’s Old City, two Israeli settlers were attacked, one stabbed in the back and another other hit by iron rod, Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said.
Both were taken to hospital with their injuries not considered to be life threatening.
Earlier on Friday, Israel arrested four Palestinians suspected of planning to kill right-wing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with an anti-tank rocket while he drove to his Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli officials said.
A statement by Israel’s domestic intelligence service Shin Bet identified three of the detainees as Hamas members.
Citing their confessions under interrogation, it said they had hoped killing Lieberman “would relay a message to the State of Israel that would bring about an end to the Gaza war”.
“We have no information about this issue. However, we stress that leaders of the Occupation [Israel] who are responsible for the killing of children and women and for defiling the sacred sites are legitimate targets for the resistance,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said.
Tension has been high across the Palestinian territories after three Israeli teenage settlers went missing in June, and were later found dead, in what Israel says was an abduction and killing by Hamas fighters, followed by an apparent revenge attack on a young Palestinian male several weeks later.
Those events helped precipitate Israel’s 50-day-long offensive against Gaza that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly women, children and the elderly.