Israeli forces, Palestinians clash on ‘day of rage’

Palestinians clashed on Friday with Israeli security forces in al-Quds and the occupied West Bank after the Islamist movement Hamas called for a “day of rage” over tensions at the Al-Aqsa mosque.


In al-Quds , police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters pelted them with stones in neighbourhoods around the Mount of Olives, including in Shuafat refugee camp.

But the situation was calm in the Old City and at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Officials said about 3,000 police had deployed after three days of violence this week at the sensitive site during the Jewish new year.

In the West Bank, however, an AFP correspondent reported that skirmishes were more intense than normal for a Friday, which have become a day of protests following weekly Muslim prayers.

At Kafr Kaddum near Nablus, Israeli fire wounded three Palestinians in their arms and legs, said the Red Crescent.

Youths hurled projectiles at police near Ofer prison, Qalandiya checkpoint and Jalazun refugee camp flashpoints in the long-running conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The protesters adopted the same slogan everywhere.

“By our soul and our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you Al-Aqsa,” chanted hundreds of them gathered in Nablus and the Gaza Strip.

Known to Muslims as Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), the compound houses the famous golden Dome of the Rock shrine and Al-Aqsa mosque.

Police had set up heavily manned checkpoints on streets leading up to the site on Friday, before an estimated 8,000-10,000 worshippers prayed, down from the average of 25,000-35,000.

“It´s a frontline,” said Mazen Shawish, 52. “You have to go though 20 military checkpoints to get to the mosque.”

Hundreds of young men denied entry prayed just outside the Old City walls.

Police said they had an intelligence warning that Arab youths were planning fresh confrontations and decided to keep them away by limiting the age of worshippers to 40 and above for men.