Israeli police clash with Palestinians in Jerusalem, Arabic reporter caught in violence
Israeli police have used force to disperse Palestinian worshippers near the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem.
RT Arabic correspondent Dalia Nammari was caught up in the violence.
In a video shot by RT Arabic, crowds of worshippers can be seen trying to flee, as clouds of smoke fill the air and Israeli police move in.
Nammari says she received a blow to her back from an Israeli soldier.
Saturday’s protest started as hundreds of Palestinians held their evening prayers outside the al-Aqsa Mosque, refusing to be subjected to the new Israeli security measures there.
The fighting began when a police car trying to enter the site was blocked by a crowd of chanting Palestinian worshippers, according to Nammari.
“What we saw is one of the protesters throw a plastic bottle of water at the police car,” she said.
“After that, we saw lots of police standing there with their guns and equipment.”
“They started throwing stun grenades to disperse the crowd, and that’s when people began shouting more and throwing more bottles of water and the Israeli police attacked violently”.
The decision to install metal detectors came after two border police officers were killed in an attack at the site last Friday.
The Israelis claim the extra security measures are necessary to help prevent terrorism, but the protesters accuse the government of using the terror threat as a pretext to assert Tel Aviv’s authority over the mosque, the third most sacred site in Islam.
Palestinians have, for the last week, been praying outside near the site in protest.
Protests and clashes also erupted in other parts of the city including the A-Tur, Issawiya, and Shu’afat neighborhoods.
In the al-Azariya district, a 17-year-old protester named as Oday Nawajaa reportedly died from a gunshot wound.
Three Palestinians were shot dead during protests in Jerusalem on Friday, while the Palestinian Authority has frozen all contact with the Israeli government over the dispute.
The same day three members of a Jewish family were murdered in a stabbing attack at a settlement on the West Bank.
The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a meeting Monday to “urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported,” Sweden’s Deputy UN ambassador, Carl Skau, posted on Twitter.
In September 2000, then Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, heavily guarded by Israeli soldiers, walked in to the al-Aqsa mosque.
The move provoked an angry reaction from the Palestinians.
Fighting broke out between the Palestinians and security forces guarding Sharon.
Seven Palestinians were killed in the fighting, serving as the catalyst for the second or al-Aqsa Intifada (Uprising).