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Report: Egypt talked Hamas down from rocket fire after Temple Mount clashes

Israeli TV says Israel agreed to release those detained during Friday’s riots; no rockets were fired, but many Palestinians remain detained

Masked Hamas members parade with Qassam rockets through the streets of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on May 27, 2021. (AP/Yousef Masoud)
Masked Hamas members parade with Qassam rockets through the streets of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on May 27, 2021. (AP/Yousef Masoud)

Egypt talked down the Hamas terror group from potentially firing rockets at Israel following Friday’s violence at the Temple Mount, where hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli police, according to a Saturday report.

Channel 12 news reported, without citing a source, that indications from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip were that the clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque could have escalated into a full-blown conflict.

The network claimed that Hamas would have likely fired rockets at Israel over the violent clashes in which over 158 Palestinians were hurt and 470 were arrested.

Egyptian intelligence officials then stepped in to try to deescalate the tensions, the report said.

Citing unspecified Arab media reports, Channel 12 said Israel agreed to Egyptian proposals to release those detained during the clashes in exchange for Hamas not escalating the situation.

No rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip following the clashes, and at least 130 rioters remained detained as of Saturday night.

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

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits atop the Temple Mount. 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.

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