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Timeline: Deadly Gaza and Jerusalem clashes

Violence was building over the past week

SAMAA | - Posted: May 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

Photo: SAMAA TV FILE

This is a recap of the last few bloody days of violence between Israel and Palestinians sparked by a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over Arab homes in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Bloody end to Ramadan

Clashes erupt on Friday as Muslims pack the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — Islam’s third holiest site —  to pray on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Violence had been building in the Holy City and occupied West Bank for the previous week.

Palestinians hurl stones, bottles and fireworks at police who fire rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades. The site is also sacred to Jews as the location of two biblical-era temples.

More than 220 people, mostly Palestinians, are wounded.

Second night

On Saturday prayers at the mosque compound are held peacefully but violence flares elsewhere in east Jerusalem.

Some 121 Palestinians are wounded overnight, many hit by rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades, the Palestinian Red Crescent says.

Israeli police say 17 of its officers are wounded.

The Middle East Quartet — the US, Russia, EU and the UN — express “deep concern” over the violence.

Court case delay

Much of the recent unrest stems from the long-running legal effort by Jewish settler groups to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

A lower court ruling earlier this year backing the settlers’ decades-old claim infuriated Palestinians.

A Supreme Court hearing on a Palestinian appeal is postponed by the justice ministry in light of “the circumstances”.

Third night

Scuffles between Palestinians and Israeli police in east Jerusalem continue overnight into Sunday.

Pope Francis joins global calls for an end to the violence.

In the evening Israeli police again face off against mostly young Palestinians at several locations in east Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends Israel’s response to the protests and rioting.

March cancelled

In Monday morning clashes at the mosque compound the Palestinian Red Crescent says at least 395 Palestinians are wounded, with more than 200 hospitalised.

Fears of further chaos eases temporarily when the planned “Jerusalem Day” march to celebrate the Jewish state’s 1967 capture of the Old City is cancelled.

Dramatic escalation

But then Hamas threatens escalation unless Israel pulls its security forces out of the compound, with more than 200 rockets reportedly fired by Palestinian militants towards the Jewish state.

Israel responds with 130 strikes by fighter jets and attack helicopters on “military targets” in the Hamas-run enclave.

Twenty-eight Palestinians — including 10 children — are killed in the exchange of fire.

Islamic Jihad said two of its commanders were among those killed.

Israel said two people were killed during a fierce volley of rocket fire on the coastal town of Ashkelon north of Gaza, with Netanyahu vowing Tuesday to intensify attacks on Gaza in reply.

Intensification

In the north of the occupied West Bank a Palestinian is killed and another wounded by Israeli army gunfire.

In the evening, a 12-storey building in Gaza where several top Hamas commanders had offices is completely destroyed in an Israeli air strike.

In retaliation, Hamas says it has launched 130 rockets towards the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, where air raid sirens ring out.

Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv halts flights over the rocket fire.

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