Dozens Wounded in Far-right, anti-Arab Jerusalem Protest
- 105 Palestinians reported wounded ■ At least 50 arrested, police use stun grenades in demonstration that drew hundreds of far-right protesters■ “We’re burning Arabs today, the Molotov cocktails are already in the trunk.”
Dozens were wounded in violent clashes that erupted in Jerusalem following a march by far-right Jewish activists Thursday night, following days of escalating tensions in the city.
A hundred and five Palestinians were wounded, with 22 being hospitalized in moderate condition, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. At least 50 people were arrested, including both right-wing extremists and Palestinians.
Stones were thrown at police in different locations around Jerusalem throughout the night. An Israeli Jewish man was lightly wounded in an attack by Palestinians in East Jerusalem, meanwhile.
The march organized by the far-right, anti-Arab group Lehava followed a week of violent assaults on Israeli Arabs and Palestinian residents of central Jerusalem, which began after a number of videos of Palestinians assaulting Jews in the area of Damascus Gate were posted on TikTok.
During the protest, hundreds of far-right activists marched from Jerusalem’s Zion Square toward the Old City in what Lehava called a march to “restore Jewish dignity.” Chanting “death To Arabs,” the demonstrators attempted to break through police roadblocks. At Zion Square, they assaulted left-wing activists protesting against Lehava. They tried to enter the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, but were blocked by authorities, according to the police.
Palestinian counter-protesters also clashed with police. Police used stun grenades and so-called skunk water on both groups of protesters. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that a Palestinian was hospitalized after suffering a head wound from Border Police gunfire.
Witnesses to the attack on the Jewish man said he had been sitting in a car when people began banging on the vehicle and throwing stones at it. After the driver got out and tried to flee, he fell and Palestinian youths kicked him while he was on the ground, according to witnesses and video from the scene. He was evacuated to a hospital and the car was later set on fire. Police said they were investigating.
Earlier, Palestinian social media posts called on people to come to Nablus Gate in order to defend themselves from “settler thugs.” Shin Bet operatives called Palestinian activists in Jerusalem and warning them against taking part in the counter-demonstration.
Ahead of the march, far-right activists called for violence and urged others to arm themselves in social media posts. Some of the message groups’ administrators included Otzma Yehudit lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir. In one message group, a member wrote: “If one of the attackers isn’t hanged, this won’t end,” while in another group a member wrote: “We’re burning Arabs today, the Molotov cocktails are already in the trunk.”
The Damascus Gate area has been a site of multiple clashes between Palestinians and police in the past week over an Israeli decision to put up barriers preventing people from sitting in the plaza, a popular public area during Ramadan, which started last week.
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DISTRIBUTED BY PAJU (PALESTINIAN AND JEWISH UNITY)