Palestinian youths clash with police at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem
Clashes and demonstrations erupted at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Sunday, with masked Palestinians throwing stones at police, and more peaceful protesters holding up photos of a toddler killed two days earlier by suspected Jewish settlers.
Israeli security forces had to build a barrier between stone-throwers protesting at the Al-Aqsa mosque, and tourists seeking to visit one of Islam’s holiest sites, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, AFP, a French news outlet, reported.
The protest came in reaction to the death of an 18-month-old Palestinian child who was burned alive in a firebombing in a village located in the West Bank on Friday. His four-year-old brother and both parents were also seriously injured in the attack.
The wave of Palestinian protests was accompanied by Israeli demonstrations calling for the government to deal with Jewish extremism, and criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s support for right-wing settler groups occupying Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile, two Palestinian teenage boys were shot dead by Israeli snipers on Saturday during clashes in the West Bank incited by the deadly arson attack.
The territory of East Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, was seized by Israel in 1967. Israel’s policy of expanding into the area, through the construction of Jewish settlements and displacement of older Palestinian ones, has been slammed by the international community, but still continues unabated.
Just last Wednesday, an Israeli court ruled that two apartment blocks in Beit El, a Palestinian West Bank settlement, had been built illegally and had to be demolished. Shortly thereafter, Netanyahu approved the immediate construction of 300 new houses for Israelis in the same settlement.