Palestinians stone Egged bus in capital, injuring 7

11 Israelis, including 4 police officers, hurt in multiple incidents as Jewish visitors flood Old City for Jerusalem Day celebration

Border guards detain a Palestinian man as Israelis take part in the "flag march" through Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem on May 28, 2014 (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI)
Border guards detain a Palestinian man as Israelis take part in the "flag march" through Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem on May 28, 2014 (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Jerusalem saw a series of violent incidents in and near the Old City Wednesday, including a stoning attack on an Egged bus as it traveled on Salah-a-Din Street in largely Arab east Jerusalem.

Seven passengers were lightly injured in the attack, including one who was taken to the hospital.

The incidents took place as tens of thousands of Israelis flocked to Jerusalem’s Old City to celebrate “Jerusalem Day” on Wednesday.

In addition, nine Palestinians were arrested near Damascus Gate for hurling stones at Israeli officers, the police spokesman said. No troops were reported injured in the scuffle.

Police fired stun grenades in response to the rock-throwing, an AFP photographer at the scene said. Another AFP journalist said a crowd of revelers attacked two Palestinian men, who were taken to safety by police.

Earlier, police arrested a Palestinian man near an entrance to the Old City for allegedly spraying Jews with tear gas.

Israeli police earlier closed off the Al-Aqsa compound on the Temple Mount after Palestinian youths threw stones at the security forces as a group of Jewish visitors was touring the site, police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.

Due to the sensitivity of the site, Jews are not allowed to pray there.

Samri said the compound would remain “closed to (non-Muslim) visitors because of Jerusalem Day celebrations at the Western Wall,” which lies just below.

Located in the heart of the Old City, the volatile plateau is the third holiest site in Islam but also the most sacred site in Judaism because it was where the two Jewish temples stood.

The annual march is a traditional event that often sparks friction with Palestinians in east Jerusalem.

This year, for the first time, peace activists staged an alternative rally in central Jerusalem, carrying placards reading, “Peace, shalom” and bearing biblical passages on coexistence and tolerance.

Jerusalem student Polina Sklyarevsky, 27, was one of the few dozen taking part.

“We don’t feel that we belong to the celebrations,” she said. “We want a clear statement that Jerusalem is a city of peace, not of violence.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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