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At least 130 rioters remain detained after Friday’s Temple Mount clashes

Most of the 470 who were arrested during the violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound have been released; 65 minors barred from Old City for 15 days

Detained Palestinian demonstrators are handcuffed following clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Palestinians and Israeli police, at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Detained Palestinian demonstrators are handcuffed following clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Palestinians and Israeli police, at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A day after violent clashes at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, during which some 470 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli police, at least 130 of them remained locked up on Saturday, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

Those who were still locked up were not minors, and had some prior criminal records, the reports said.

On Saturday night, they were to be brought before a court to extend their remand.

Some 65 minors arrested during Friday’s violence were given a 15-day restraining order from the Old City, and over 200 detainees with no relevant prior record were released after questioning.

Responding to the clashes and subsequent mass arrests of rioters, the Joint List’s MK Sami Abou Shehadeh said “no attacks, arrests or invasions will dissuade our youth and people from continuing steadfastness in our Jerusalem, the eternal capital of our people.”

In a tweet, Shehadeh called on Palestinians to “gather around Jerusalem and mobilize to strengthen the steadfastness of its people.”

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians barricaded inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, stockpiling rocks and other objects to hurl at intruders. Dozens of young people began marching through the compound, some waving Palestinian flags, while others carried green banners associated with the Hamas terror group, police said. The marchers threw stones and set off fireworks.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 158 were injured — a majority of them likely due to tear gas inhalation. Footage showed chaos at the site, with showers of rocks and fireworks shot toward heavily armed police.

Determined to clear the mosque of the stockpiled stones, police decided to breach the building in what resulted in dozens of arrests and scenes identical to those that unfolded nearly a year ago.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, on April 15, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

After six hours though, they managed to rid the compound of rioters. Calm was restored and afternoon prayers managed to go off without incident, with some 50,000 Muslim worshipers taking part.

Ramadan is typically a period of high tension, as tens of thousands of worshipers, including many West Bank Palestinians, attend services at Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits atop the Temple Mount complex. The site is Judaism’s holiest place, and the mosque is Islam’s third-holiest.

The site is the emotional epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tensions there can easily snowball into wider conflagrations. Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups have repeatedly invoked the flashpoint holy site as a red line. Police actions to quell riots there last year helped trigger the 11-day war in Gaza in May.

In addition to the holiday friction, Israeli troops have been carrying out extensive raids in the West Bank following the deadliest outbreak of terror in Israel in years. Though there were no major incidents in the West Bank overnight Saturday, a military spokesperson said to The Times of Israel.

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