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Israel: Old City clashes in dispute over unearthed human remains

i24NEWS

clock 3 min read

Israeli border guards and Palestinian protesters near the Lion's Gate entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, Israel, October 10, 2021.
AHMAD GHARABLI / AFPIsraeli border guards and Palestinian protesters near the Lion's Gate entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, Israel, October 10, 2021.

Palestinian demonstrators gathered to protest the damaging of Muslim graves, with 10 wounded in clashes

Palestinians and Israel Border Police clashed on Sunday in Jerusalem's Old City during demonstrations over the disturbance of Muslim graves from nearby construction work.

The Times of Israel (ToI) reported that at least 10 Palestinian people were wounded when police threw stun grenades at protesters.

Tensions rose after several human bones were discovered in an area designated to become a promenade and public garden, located near the al-Yusufiya cemetery, a Muslim graveyard adjacent to the Old City walls.

During construction, human remains were unearthed, and groups of Palestinian residents rushed to the area for a mass prayer protest over the disturbance of the graves. The excavation was conducted by the Jerusalem municipality and the Nature and Parks Authority to develop the area near the northeast corner of the wall, not far from the Rockefeller Museum, as reported by Haaretz.

Israeli police indicated that dozens of rioters threw stones at officers and set a dumpster alight, which prompted police to respond with riot control means and arrest one person for disturbing the peace, ToI reported.

Haaretz said that the riot control means included the use of stun grenades and foam-coated bullets. 

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“This territory is a national park and open public space, outside the Muslim cemetery," the Nature and Parks Authority replied to criticisms. "The matter is being investigated. The works at the site are ongoing under court orders.”

Several violent incidents over the past couple of weeks have escalated in Israel and the West Bank - a Palestinian woman was killed after attacking police officers with a knife in Jerusalem, a Palestinian was killed after firing on Israeli forces near Jenin, and three Jewish Israelis were arrested for throwing stones at a Palestinian village in Hebron.