Dozens injured in Jerusalem clashes between Palestinians and police

Israeli police clash with Palestinians at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 88 of the wounded were hospitalized.

Israel braced for more protests Saturday after clashes at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound wounded more than 200 people and as the US, EU and regional powers urged calm after days of escalating violence.

Israeli police in riot gear confronted crowds of Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites.

Israeli security forces deploy during clashes with Palestinian protesters at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, on May 7, 2021.

It also comes as Israel Police brace for more unrest in Jerusalem after prayers on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The clashes came as tensions have soared over Israeli restrictions on access to parts of the Old City during Ramadan and the threat of eviction hanging over four Palestinian families in east Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers.

The unrest has drawn attention from across the region, with neighbouring Jordan warning Israel against further "provocative" steps, and Iran seizing on the sensitivities around Jerusalem and encouraging the violence.

The violence threatens to spill into Sunday's "Night of Destiny", the holiest night in the Islamic calendar, when worshippers will congregate at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Thousands protested afterwards, waving the green flags of Hamas and chanting pro-Hamas slogans before dispersing peacefully. The Palestinian Health Ministry said 83 people were wounded by rubber-coated bullets, including three who were shot in the eye, two with serious head injuries and two with broken jaws.

They sang songs in support of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where several Palestinian families are fighting eviction from their homes.

Israeli seurity forces advance on Palestinian protesters at the al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem
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A long-running legal battle over the occupation has reignited conflict in recent days.

The spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said the evictions, "if ordered and implemented, would violate Israel's obligations under global law" on East Jerusalem territory it captured and occupied, along with the West Bank, from neighbouring Jordan in 1967.

In a statement, the Ministry vigorously deplored "the Israeli attack against the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, where settlers are working to displace the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, a behavior that does not differ from the practices of ethnic cleansing".

The Palestinians view East Jerusalem - which includes major holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims - as their capital, and its fate is one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict. Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said the illegal threats to Palestinian-occupied territory "represents a violation of worldwide law, undermining the chances of reaching a two-state solution, and threatening the foundations of security and stability in the region".

Meanwhile, the United States called for de-escalation in occupied East Jerusalem, and warned against carrying out a threatened eviction of Palestinian families that has sent tensions soaring.

The United States said it was "deeply concerned" about both the violence and the threatened evictions, and was in contact with leaders on both sides to try and de-escalate tensions. Officials said the potential for further clashes was high in coming days.

She noted that some Palestinian families targeted for eviction have "lived in their home for generations".

Police said protesters torched a vehicle and threw stones outside a house occupied by Jewish settlers.

Al-Aqsa mosque director Omar al-Kiswani said in a video posted by Palestinian activists that, directly after the evening iftar break fast meal, "the Al-Aqsa mosque was stormed and unarmed worshippers were attacked to empty it".

"Shame on Israel and those who keep silent in the face of disgraceful attacks", Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter late on Friday.

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