Clashes broke out today between Palestinians and Israeli police in Temen Square in East Jerusalem, injuring 42 people, but none seriously.
“There are 42 wounded from clashes with the occupying forces” in Temenon Square, the Palestinian Red Crescent announced. An earlier report said 12 people had been injured.
Of those 42 people, 22 were taken to a hospital in Jerusalem, but “no one is in serious condition,” the Red Crescent explained.
Israeli police said they intervened when hundreds of people began throwing stones and flares in various directions, including the Western Wall, where Jewish pilgrims gather. Police responded using plastic bullets and tear gas.
“We will continue to act decisively against the rioters and the illegals in order to preserve public safety and order,” police said.
The Temple Square is the third holiest place for Islam but also the holiest place for the Jews, in whose tradition it is known as the Temple Mount.
More than 250 Palestinians have been injured in the past two weeks in and around Temenon Square.
The clashes raise fears of escalating violence between Palestinians and Israelis, as several bloody anti-Israeli attacks have taken place since late March.
As of March 22, 14 people have been killed in anti-Israeli attacks. In retaliation, Israeli security forces have been allowed to do everything they can to “defeat terrorism” and have carried out numerous operations in the occupied West Bank.
A total of 26 Palestinians have been killed in the same period, including attackers.
Today’s riots erupted as Muslims celebrated the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, which ends early next week.
Today is also Yum al-Quds al-Alami, the annual “day of defense” of Jerusalem, a holiday instituted by Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
On Thursday night, the Palestinian movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad organized a rally in a stadium in the Gaza Strip to honor the day and call for the “defense” of Jerusalem and the Square of Mosques.