Arabs and Jews Clash as Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day (PHOTO, VIDEO)
AFP 2018 / Ahmad GHARABLIMiddle East16:20 13.05.2018Get short URL
Just a day before the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, relocated from Tel Aviv and in coincidence with the 70th anniversary of the foundation of Israel, a violent conflict has erupted on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the Haaretz newspaper reports.
Images and videos of violent clashes occurred on Sunday morning between Jews and Arabs were shared on social media, as up to a thousand Jews ascended Temple Mount in honor of Jerusalem Day, which marks 51 years since the Old City became a part of Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Waqf, the Muslim religious trust in charge of the current Islamic edifices in the Old City, these numbers are record high and will continue to grow, as hundreds more are waiting in a queue.
READ MORE: Muslim States Protest US Embassy Transfer to Jerusalem (PHOTO, VIDEO)
Haaretz reported that during the confrontation, a policeman slapped a young Palestinian, causing an escalation of the conflict. In order to ease the conflict, the police later shut down the Damascus Gate in the Old City.
According to the local police, as cited by the Jerusalem Post, many Arabs became anxious after three Jewish minors, including the son of right-wing lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich, raised an Israeli flag on the Temple Mount.
The young men, however, were swiftly interrupted by security and forced to leave the site. Smotrich shared the video of the incident on social media, approving the youth for “the courage and national honor” they had demonstrated.
Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967. The holiday often requires police attention, as conflicts between Arabs and Jews are usual, particularly at the Temple Mount, which is considered to be a sacred place in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.