More than 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

More than 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades towards rock-hurling Palestinian youth at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid growing anger over the potential eviction of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.

As Palestinians on Friday continued to resist attempts by Israeli settlers and state security forces to drive them out of the Al-Bustan and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined other Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who have expressed outrage over the expulsion effort and solidarity with those fighting for their homes.

Israelis and Palestinians are bracing for more unrest in the coming days.

Palestinian medics said more than 20 Palestinians were hospitalized, most with injuries to the eyes and the face.

Tensions in the capital, specifically around the Old City, were already high after police prevented people from congregating outside Damascus Gate at the start of Ramadan, which Arabs said was an inflammatory move that obstructed a long-held tradition of gathering at the site during the Muslim holy month.

Hafez strongly denounced Israel's threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Eastern Jerusalem, branding this a violation of worldwide legitimacy and the global humanitarian law and a continuation of the forcible eviction of Palestinians from their homes.

A State Department spokesperson said the USA was "deeply concerned about the heightened tensions in Jerusalem", and called for "all sides to ensure calm and act responsibly to deescalate tensions", per Reuters.

"It is critical to avoid unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions or take us further away from peace", a department spokesperson said in a statement. But with Israel's move to annex East Jerusalem in 1967 - a move not recognized by the majority of the global community - they were denied ownership of the homes and lands.

An Aqsa official appealed for calm on the compound through the mosque's loudspeakers. It has always been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence and was the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Weeks of sporadic violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem intensified on Friday evening at a sacred religious site for Muslims and Jews, as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears. Smaller clashes broke out elsewhere in Jerusalem. At least six officers were wounded, police said.

We will respond with a heavy hand to all violent disturbances, riots and attacks on our forces, it said in a statement late Friday. Thousands protested afterwards, waving the green flags of the Islamic militant group Hamas and chanting pro-Hamas slogans.

Israeli police said 18 officers were wounded while the Palestinian Red Crescent reported that 205 Palestinians were injured in the violence at Al-Aqsa and across annexed east Jerusalem, including more than 80 who were hospitalised.

The clashes were the latest in a deadly day that saw Israeli forces shoot and kill two Palestinians after three men allegedly opened fire on an Israeli base in the occupied West Bank. Many stayed on to protest against the evictions in the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The military said several Palestinians had thrown firebombs toward soldiers.

Video recorded at the site of squabbles between riot police and protesters show worshippers violently clashing with officers, as fireworks are seen exploding, while crowds flock the streets near the Temple Mount area and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Worshippers will gather for intense nighttime prayers at Al-Aqsa.

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