Offensive in Gaza
International 22/05/2021

Police charges in the Esplanade of the Mosques after twelve hours of ceasefire in Gaza

Similar events to those of today were the trigger for the conflict that ended early yesterday morning

2 min
Members of the Israeli security forces in front of Palestinian demonstrators at the Esplanade of the Mosques on Friday

SabadellThe Israeli police have charged this Friday at noon against groups of Muslims in the Esplanade of the Mosques in East Jerusalem. The agents have fired rubber bullets, tear gas and sound grenades against the faithful who had left the Al-Aqsa mosque after Friday prayers, as reported by several media and as can be seen in some videos spread through social networks.

Arwa Ibrahim, journalist of A el Jazeera

The events have taken place just twelve hours after the beginning of the cease-fire agreed on yesterday between Israel and Hamas. The ceasefire has ended the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets from the Palestinian territory into Israel. The agreement is unconditional and, therefore, does not include any commitment by Israel to stop such actions, but Hamas had already warned this morning that its two main demands to maintain the truce were to ensure security in Al-Aqsa (the third holiest site of Islam) and to stop the threats of eviction of Palestinian families in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in East Jerusalem.

According to Israeli media, Hamas had called this Friday a "day of rage" in Jerusalem. After midday prayers, a large group of Palestinians began a demonstration in support of Gaza on the Esplanade of the Mosques, where Palestinian flags were waved. According to Reuters, a police spokesman explained that some of the demonstrators threw stones and Molotov cocktails from inside the enclosure against the agents guarding the gates, and that these have responded dispersing them.

The clash lasted about an hour and then the security forces retreated back to their positions at the gates of the complex. Medical sources say that there have been about twenty injured, two of whom have been taken to hospital.

The police charges in the Esplanade of the Mosques were the trigger, on Monday last week, of the conflict that has ended this Friday morning: Hamas responded by firing rockets into Jerusalem and, in retaliation, the Israeli army began bombing on Gaza. So far, the Islamist organization has not announced any punitive action for the events of Friday in Al-Aqsa.

The number of dead is growing

Despite the fact that the bombing in Gaza has stopped since early yesterday morning, the death toll in the strip has continued to grow in recent hours, due to the death of some wounded and the recovery of lifeless bodies from the rubble of buildings affected by the Israeli attacks. The latest figures released by the strip's health ministry put the death toll at 243, including 66 minors, and the number of wounded at over 1,900. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the attacks have killed more than 200 members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including 25 commanders. In Israel, the death toll remains at 12 (including two children) and there have been about 800 wounded.

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