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EU Calls for De-Escalation in Jerusalem

EU Calls for De-Escalation in Jerusalem

Saturday, 8 May, 2021 - 08:15
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.

The European Union on Saturday condemned violent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound and urged authorities to quickly calm tensions.

"Violence and incitement are unacceptable and the perpetrators on all sides must be held accountable. The European Union calls on the authorities to act urgently to de-escalate the current tensions in Jerusalem," a spokesman said in a statement.

A night of heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa compound and elsewhere in Jerusalem, where tensions have soared in recent weeks, left more than 200 people wounded, the Palestinian emergency service said early Saturday.

The Red Crescent said 88 of the wounded were hospitalized, many with wounds to their eyes and face inflicted by rubber-coated bullets and shrapnel from stun grenades. Israel said at least six police were wounded.

At the beginning of Ramadan in mid-April, Israel blocked off a popular gathering spot where Palestinians traditionally socialize at the end of their daylong fast. The move set off two weeks of clashes before Israel lifted the restrictions.

But in recent days, protests have grown over Israel's threatened eviction in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem of dozens of Palestinians embroiled in a long legal battle with Israeli settlers trying to acquire property in the neighborhood.

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