In recent weeks, tensions in Jerusalem have been increasing. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police in the old city of the besieged wall in East Jerusalem, which was occupied and annexed by Israel in the 1967 war.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is the third holiest place in Islam and the holiest place in Judaism. It is one of the highlights of the ancient city. Another reason for Palestinian anger is that Israeli settlers threatened to expel Palestinian families from houses in residential areas of East Jerusalem.
Monday was a whole day of anger and deadly violence, concealing the deep divisions in Jerusalem, even if Israel tried to celebrate the occupation of the eastern part of the city and sensitive holy sites more than half a century ago. Throughout the night, dozens of rockets flew into Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with senior security officials and warned that despite the United States, Europe and other regions demanding to remain calm, the fighting may continue.
Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, fired dozens of rockets on Monday evening and set off air raid sirens on Jerusalem. After Hamas gave Israel a deadline to withdraw its troops from the Al-Aqsa compound, it launched a barrage attack.
By Tuesday morning, Hamas and other Gaza militants had launched more than 200 rockets. This included a barrage of six rockets aimed at Jerusalem, about 1
Earlier Tuesday, Jerusalem appeared to be showing some signs of gradual escalation. Palestinian believers conducted dawn prayers in the mosque without any confrontation, because Israel apparently restricted the presence of its police around the compound. Amateur video shows that dozens of loyal men marched towards the mosque and shouted “We sacrificed our blood and soul for Al-Aqsa.”
According to local media reports, an Israeli drone attack in Gaza killed a man in the southern town of Khan Younis in the early hours of Tuesday morning. According to the Ministry of Health and Rescue Department of Gaza, in another strike, a missile and one or two men were killed when the missile hit the upper floors of an apartment building in the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City.
The armed wing of Hamas said it stepped up the rocket barrage after the house was hit by air strikes.
The Israeli military said it carried out dozens of air strikes on Gaza overnight, targeting Hamas military installations and agents. It said that the Hamas tunnel, rocket launchers and at least eight militants were attacked.
Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted dozens of rockets. However, a man landed near a house on the outskirts of Jerusalem, causing minor damage to the structure of the house and setting off an electric fire nearby. In southern Israel, an Israeli man was slightly injured after a missile hit a vehicle.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The terrorist organization in Gaza crossed the red line and attacked us with missiles on the outskirts of Jerusalem.”
He said the fighting may continue for a while, and “Anyone who attacks us will pay a heavy price,” he said, warning that the fighting may “continue for a while.”
Health officials in Gaza did not further break down the number of casualties. At least 15 of the 22 deaths in Gaza were attributed to air strikes. Seven of them were members of a family, including three children, who were killed in a mysterious explosion in Beit Hanoun, a town in northern Gaza. It is not clear whether the explosion was caused by an Israeli air strike or the wrong rocket. The Ministry of Health said more than 100 Gazans were injured in the airstrike.
In a statement issued earlier on Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniye stated that the rocket attacks will continue until Israel ceases “all scenes of terrorism and aggression in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” .
The tension in the area has caused violent conflicts in the past many times. This is called the “Noble Sanctuary” by Muslims and the “Temple Mount” by Jews.
During Monday’s unrest, Israeli police fired tear gas, grenades and rubber bullets during clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians in the compound.
An Associated Press photographer at the scene said that as police and protesters faced off in the walled compound surrounding it, more than a dozen tear gas cans and stun grenades landed in the mosque. Smoke rose in front of the mosque and the golden shrine on the scene, and rocks were scattered on the nearby square. In an area of the compound, shoes and debris were scattered on the gorgeous carpet.
According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, more than 600 Palestinians were injured in Jerusalem alone, including more than 400 who needed treatment in hospitals and clinics.
The Palestinians and the police broke out again on Monday night. The Israeli police also reported that unrest occurred in northern Israel. Arab demonstrators burned tires and threw stones and fireworks at security forces. The police said 46 people were arrested.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Palestinians and Israeli police clashed almost every night in the Old City of Jerusalem, after several weeks of clashes. This month is often a period of increased religious sensitivity.
The recent planned deportation of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem has increased tensions, where Israeli settlers took over a long legal battle to take over property.
The Israeli Supreme Court postponed Monday’s main ruling on the case on the grounds of “situation”.
In Washington, State Department spokesperson Ned Price condemned the “strongest” rocket attack on Israel and called on all parties to calm the situation.
He said: “More broadly, we are deeply aware of the situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including the violent confrontation in Jerusalem.” He said that the United States will remain “fully involved” and praised Israel’s cooling measures, including the court’s Delayed steps in the expulsion case.
In order to avoid further confrontation, the Israeli authorities apparently changed their original plan. Thousands of nationalist Jews waving national flags passed through the Muslim quarter of the Old City to commemorate Jerusalem Day.
The annual holiday is to celebrate Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. But this is generally regarded as a provocation because the route traverses the heart of the Palestinian region.