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6 Arrested During 4th Night of Clashes Between Police and Palestinians in Jerusalem

Police say suspects hurled stones and other items at officers at Damascus Gate, as tensions remain high in capital during Ramadan and after a series of terror attacks
Israeli police officers during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, April 5, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Israeli police officers during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, April 5, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Police said six Palestinians were detained during clashes at the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday, as Palestinians gathered to celebrate Ramadan.

The suspects hurled stones and other items and launched fireworks at officers, police said.

It was the fourth night in a row of scuffles at Damascus Gate, an entrance to the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, a frequent point of friction and the site of many past terror attacks.

“Whoever chooses to disturb the order, riot, and engage in violence of any kind, harms first and foremost the large public of worshipers, merchants, and visitors, the vast majority of whom wished to celebrate Ramadan in peace and security, while maintaining freedom of worship,” police said in a statement.

“We will not allow those inciting and violent margins [of society] to disrupt order. We call on the public to mark the month of Ramadan legally, obey police instructions, and avoid violence and disturbances of any kind,” the statement said.

Separately, police said officers dispersed a mass brawl that broke out in the area. No injuries were reported.

Israeli security forces have been on edge following a spate of deadly terror attacks that killed 11 people in Israel late last month. Authorities had also feared violence during Ramadan, often a period of unrest and high tension in the capital.

On Monday, eight Palestinians were detained during clashes at Damascus Gate for throwing objects at officers. Saturday and Sunday also saw some clashes and at least 14 arrests.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid toured the Damascus Gate area with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai on Sunday in a visit seen by both Palestinians and some of his coalition partners as provocative.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that the recent attacks should serve as a wake-up call, and that more than 15 attacks have been thwarted recently.

A report on Monday said security forces arrested 14 East Jerusalem residents in the past three days for planning attacks or inciting others to carry out attacks.

The Channel 12 report also said police believe they can contain clashes at Damascus Gate if they remain at the scale of the previous two nights.

The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that some restrictions on West Bank Palestinian movement will be loosened for prayers for Ramadan, after the recent attacks raised the prospect of the gesture being canceled.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call on Tuesday night that the measures could be expanded further if the terror wave did not continue.

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