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

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

The Gulf nation also condemned the "Israeli plan to evict the citizens of Jerusalem from their homes", referring to the situation in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where over 70 Palestinian residents are threatened with eviction and could be replaced by right-wing Jewish nationalists, in a legal battle being waged in Israel's Supreme Court.

Eighty-eight of the injured were taken to hospital for treatment, with most suffering from wounds caused by rubber-coated bullets, the Red Crescent said.

Videos show that riot police struggle to curb the unrest by using of rubber bullets and sound grenades. Israeli police forces are operating at the scene and so far six policemen have been injured in the disturbances. The fighting erupted after evening prayers on the final Friday of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

A reporter for Israeli public TV tweeted footage of a Jewish driver whose auto was attacked with stones and windows shattered at the entrance to Sheikh Jarrah Saturday.

Tens of thousands had again gathered in front of Al Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers where they were met with a heavy police presence.

Police defended their actions as security moves, but these were seen as provocations by Muslims who accuse Israel of threatening their freedom of worship. The confrontations continued well into the night.

"We hold the Israeli occupation government absolutely responsible for what is happening in the holy city in terms of unsafe developments, vicious aggression, and what may result from it", Abbas said in a televised address Saturday.

The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, urged Palestinians to remain at the Al-Aqsa compound until Thursday morning, when Ramadan ends, warning that "the resistance is ready to defend Al-Aqsa at any cost".

It will "pay the price for its aggression", Hamas said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the police actions.

A State Department spokesperson said the US 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. Both called for moderation.

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The European Union called on the authorities "to act urgently to de-escalate the current tensions", saying "violence and incitement are unacceptable and the perpetrators on all sides must be held accountable".

What they're saying: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent session to address the violence, saying he holds Israel "responsible for the unsafe developments and sinful attacks taking place in the holy city".

Thousands of worshippers stayed on at Al-Aqsa on Saturday for Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Destiny), a peak of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The ministry renewed Lebanon's "solidarity with the brotherly Palestinian people", affirming its "right to establish an independent Palestinian state, as per the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with worldwide legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative issued in Beirut in 2002".

Israeli police closed gates leading to Al Aqsa inside the walled Old City.

Police said they dispersed the protest in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood where demonstrators had thrown stones at security forces.

Israel's Foreign Ministry had earlier accused the Palestinians of seizing on the threatened evictions, which it described as a real-estate dispute between private parties, in order to incite violence.

He said Washington was calling on Israeli and Palestinian officials to "act decisively to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence".

Egypt and Jordan, which made peace with Israel decades ago, condemned Israel's actions, as did the Gulf countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, two of the four Arab countries that signed US -brokered normalization agreements with Israel past year.

According to UN News, Rupert Colville, the official spokesperson of OHCR, stated that these evictions "if ordered and implemented" would violate worldwide law and, therefore, must cease from such rulings in order to abide by global humanitarian law.



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