April 19, 2021 11:12:24 am
Israeli police clashed with hundreds of Palestinian protesters outside Jerusalem’s Old City, firing stun grenades and a water cannon to disperse the crowd, Israeli media said.
Similar clashes have occurred nightly since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began last week.
Palestinians say they typically gather on the stairs outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate each evening during Ramadan but that this year Israeli police put up barriers to keep away the crowds.
The move has angered Muslims who like to meet at the plaza to pass the Ramadan nights after the daily dawn-to-dusk fast ends. Police accuse the crowds of disorderly conduct and throwing stones at security forces.
Israel’s public broadcaster Kan showed videos of large crowds clashing with police, who used stun grenades and sprayed water to disperse the gathering. Police said they had made at least three arrests, and the Palestinian Red Crescent medical service said four people were injured in the clashes. There were no immediate details on their conditions.
Israeli police also reported clashes with Arab crowds in Jaffa, on the southern edge of Tel Aviv. Police said crowds threw stones at police, slightly injuring two officers. Three arrests were made.
Ramadan is marked by dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts with family and friends, though crowded shoulder-to-shoulder gatherings in mosques and large gatherings for meals remain limited due to the continued spread of the coronavirus globally.
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