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6 East Jerusalem residents arrested for assaulting cops in Old City

Even after police cease policy barring gathering at Damascus Gate, tensions remain high; cops filmed clearing area, apparently after seeing Palestinian flag waved in crowd

Palestinians gather and wave a Palestinian flag at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 26, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Palestinians gather and wave a Palestinian flag at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 26, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Police arrested six Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem for allegedly assaulting officers outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate earlier on Monday.

The suspects hurled a table and other objects at the female officers, injuring two of them, police said in a statement.

Tensions in the flashpoint city remained high even after police on Sunday night ceased their policy of preventing crowding outside Damascus Gate during Ramadan, a policy that Muslims said was an inflammatory move that obstructed a long-held tradition of gathering at the site during the holy month.

The Kan public broadcaster reported Monday that the Shin Bet had pressed the Israel Police to remove barricades preventing worshipers from sitting on the Damascus Gate stairs.

The security agency believed the presence of the barriers was contributing to the recent tensions in the city, the report said.

Police still periodically rushed and cleared the site on Sunday and Monday night when revelers were spotted waving Palestinian flags — a symbol often viewed as a provocation by Israeli authorities.

Police remove people from the Damascus Gate area outside Jerusalem’s Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 26, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Also on Monday, police extended the remands of a Jewish minor and adult who had been arrested a day earlier for attacking a pair of Arab sanitation workers in the city.

Earlier in the day, a 68-year-old man was lightly injured when a rock was thrown at his car, as he drove past the Old City.

Paramedics treated the man at the scene, near the Old City’s Dung Gate, and then took him to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for further treatment.

It was not known who threw the rock at his car and no assailants were immediately reported to have been apprehended. There was also no immediate information on the identity or ethnicity of the victim.

Palestinians gather and wave a Palestinian flag at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 26, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

In a separate incident in East Jerusalem, a rock was hurled toward a group of lawmakers from the far-right Religious Zionism party making a visit to the Beit Orot Jewish enclave.

No injuries or damage were reported in that case. The MKs said they were visiting “to strengthen the Jewish residents who have been suffering lately from Arab aggression.”

Thousands of Palestinians descended on Damascus Gate each night once Ramadan began on April 13 to protest the controversial police policy.

More than 105 Palestinians were wounded late Thursday in clashes with police who found themselves in the middle of the Arab demonstrators and a mob of hundreds of Jewish extremists marching toward Damascus Gate, chanting “Death to Arabs,” “May your village burn,” and other hateful slogans.

Police used riot dispersal measures against both crowds, but reserved more severe means, including rubber bullets, for the Palestinian mob.

Jerusalem has also seen a series of viral videos on the social network TikTok, which appear to show Palestinians attacking ultra-Orthodox Jews without any provocation. The clips have fueled Jewish anger.

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