Two tourists were lightly injured Tuesday in separate Palestinian rock throwing attacks, in Jerusalem and Hebron, amid a wave of renewed clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians.
A Japanese tourist was evacuated to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital after a rock hit her in the head as she stood adjacent to an IDF checkpoint in the volatile West Bank city of Hebron, Israel Army radio reported.
In a separate attack, a taxi travelling in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur was pelted with stones, injuring at least one tourist. An 11-year-old Palestinian boy targeted the vehicle as it approached the Mount of Olives, the radio report said. Border Police officers caught the boy and were said to be looking for his parents.
Israeli security forces and Palestinians also clashed in Jerusalem’s Old City and a checkpoint outside Ramallah.
The Ramallah clashes saw dozens of youths throw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with water cannon and rubber bullets, AFP reported.
The violence occurred on the sidelines of a demonstration organized by Palestinian organizations, in part over increased Israeli presence and police raids at the Temple Mount in recent weeks.
Israel has said the raids at Judaism’s holiest site were necessary to stop rioters from disrupting visits there. Last week, police said they found pipe-bombs at Al-Aqsa mosque; on Sunday, police released photographs of Palestinian protesters stockpiling rocks, and there were clashes at the site on Monday. Security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinians who threw stones and firebombs while barricading themselves inside the shrine.
Israeli police also said they had arrested 12 Palestinians overnight in East Jerusalem, including several in connection with the Temple Mount clashes.
Israel’s policy regarding the Temple Mount is to allow Jews and tourists to visit the site during specific hours, but to prohibit any form of religious ritual other than that practiced by Muslims. The compound’s Muslim sites are controlled by the Waqf, a religious authority sponsored by the Jordanian monarchy.
Palestinians fear Israel will seek to change rules governing Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he is committed to maintaining the status quo there.