Palestinians clash with Israeli police in East Jerusalem

Palestinian youths clash with Israeli police as settlers enter al Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Palestinian youth groups and Israeli police clashed on Sunday in East Jerusalem when some scores of Israeli settlers marched into al Aqsa mosque where they allegedly assaulted women.

"More than 150 settlers forced their way into the mosque compound and assaulted Palestinian women inside," a guard who is responsible for security of al Aqsa compound told reporters.

"Israeli police later detained a Palestinian who had come to the rescue of the assaulted women," the security  guard added.

Two Israeli police officers have been injured in the clashes, as well as several young Palestinian protesters who were allegedly pelting the police, and six of them were arrested, according to report made by Israeli Channel 10.

The police estimated that nearly 30,000 Israelis have marched through Jerusalem's old town where the remnants of Temple of Solomon are believed to have remained after the Roman destruction around 70 A.D.

Israeli settlers were said to have been invited by some Jewish groups in order to celebrate the Jewish Yom Yerushalayim holiday (Jerusalem Day) which was devoted to commemoration of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in the Six Days War of 1967.

The main origins of the Arab-Israeli dispute go back to the 1967 war when Israel and several Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought in the six days war.

Israel had further widened its territory by seizing the Sinai Peninsula, East Jerusalem, West Bank of the Jordan River, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights at the end of the six days war.

Since then Israel has been maintaining to construct new settlements in those seized areas where Israeli occupation was never recognized by the international law and constitute the backbone of current Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

Although the international community called Israel to stop new settlements for the sake of the Middle East peace process, the Israeli side has nevertheless continued to settle new communities in the occupied lands.

Palestinian people have been resisting Israel’s expansion towards East Jerusalem and the West Bank as they started the "Second Intifada," a popular Palestinian uprising against Israel's decades-long occupation in 2000.

Israel perceives East Jerusalem as a part of West Jerusalem and the unified capital of the Jewish state, but the UN-led international community has never recognized such Israeli move so far.

Palestinians seek to regain East Jerusalem from Israel in order to make it the capital of independent Palestinian state which was de facto recognized by several countries in the world.  

Muslims consider Jerusalem as the third holiest soil where holy al Aqsa mosque compound was regarded as the first qiblah of Islam, whereas Jewish people refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples during the Hebrew Kingdom.

The old city of Jerusalem is also home to some Christian holy sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Christian community believe Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans.   

Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said before the general election held in March that he was against a two state solution regarding the dispute between Israel and Palestine.

In a sharp reversal of the pre-election rhetoric which opposes an independent Palestinian state, Netanyahu told NBC News after the polls concluded that he wants a “sustainable, peaceful two-state solution,” but said that “circumstances have to change” for that to be accomplished.

TRTWorld and agencies