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Remand extended of 20 suspects arrested in Jerusalem Old City riots

Police say detainees include those who threw rocks at buses, assaulted Orthodox Jews going to pray at Western Wall

Palestinians shoot fireworks at Israeli police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Palestinians shoot fireworks at Israeli police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Police on Tuesday announced the detention of 20 suspects will be extended after they were arrested during recent riots in Jerusalem’s Old City amid heightened tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.

According to police, the detainees are suspected of rioting, assault and hurling rocks and fireworks toward Israeli citizens and security forces.

Among those being held are Palestinians who on Sunday threw rocks at buses just outside the Old City en route to the Western Wall, leaving several passengers lightly wounded. Police allege one of the suspects used his car to force the buses to slow down, making it easier to pelt the buses with stones.

Police say some of the other suspects were detained for throwing rocks and firecrackers at police from Old City rooftops, and for assaulting Orthodox Jews headed to pray at the Western Wall.

“The Israel Police will continue to act firmly against lawbreakers and rioters,” a police statement said, adding investigators were working to track down additional suspects.

The statement said the extension of the suspects’ remand was approved by a court on Monday, but did not specify for how long.

Palestinians throw rocks at an Israeli bus outside Jerusalem’s Old City, on April 17, 2022. (Screenshot/Twitter)

Many Jews head to the Western Wall and the Old City during the week of Passover, which began Friday night. Non-Muslims can only visit the Temple Mount during certain hours and are barred from praying at the site, which is the holiest in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.

Passover this year intersects with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which tends to see increased tensions around the Old City. Sunday was also Easter, with Christian pilgrims visiting the Old City.

Sunday’s violence came after clashes Friday morning saw almost 500 rioters arrested and more than 150 people injured in violence in and around the Temple Mount, after Palestinians threw rocks and clashed with Israeli police, who entered the mosque to confront them.

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