Tuesday, 27 April 2021 | Nightly Ramadan riots continued to rage across Jerusalem for the second consecutive week, even after police revoked a restriction that the Palestinians slammed as the catalyst for the violence.
On Sunday evening, Israeli police removed the barricades outside the Damascus Gate strategically placed to prevent thousands of Palestinians from using the stone steps as a make-shift pavilion to while away the evenings of Ramadan—apparently a cherished and long-held tradition during the Islamic holy month.
However, according to security officials, the cherished tradition masquerades as a breeding ground for violence, stone-throwing and attacks on passersby, and in a bid to curb the mass congregation and the violent riots that usually erupt around the Old City, police implemented the restrictions to keep the crowds away, regulate the throng of pedestrian traffic streaming in and out of the Old City, and maintain the peace.
Palestinians reacted by streaming to the barricades en masse every night since the start of Ramadan, leading to nightly clashes with security forces—and then blaming the clashes on the restriction.
With the offensive barricades out of the way, one would be forgiven for assuming that tensions would dissipate and peace return to the streets of Jerusalem. Yet the nightly Ramadan riots have continued unabated, proving that the discontent over the restriction was nothing but a convenient scapegoat to absolve the Palestinians from all liability for the annual month of violence and conveniently cast them in the role of wronged martyr.
On Sunday, thousands of Palestinian youths congregated at the Damascus Gate, chanting: “With blood and fire we will liberate you, Palestine.” The situation descended into violence shortly thereafter as the Palestinian mob hurled rocks and bottles at officers stationed in the area. Police dispersed the crowd and arrested 12 Palestinians for disturbances and attacking officers and passersby.
Last night saw a near repeat of the previous night’s scuffles, with the police arresting six Palestinians for assaulting officers stationed in the area.
Earlier, a 68-year-old man driving past the Old City was lightly injured when a rock was hurled at his car.
The violence that has raged in Jerusalem since April 12, the first day of Ramadan, has spread to several locations throughout Judea and Samaria, where hundreds of Palestinian protestors set objects alight and hurled firebombs, stones and fireworks at Israeli officers, a spokesperson for the Israel Border Police said.
Last week, terrorists in Gaza also jumped into the fray by lobbing rockets at communities in southern Israel in answer to a clarion call by senior Hamas leaders to attack Israel in solidary with their Palestinian brethren rioting in Jerusalem. Since Friday night, 41 rockets have been fired on Israeli communities.
With roughly two weeks of Ramadan remaining, tensions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as well as the Gaza border area remain high, and we call upon Christians around the world to unite with us as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122:6).
Posted on April 27, 2021
Source: Ilse Strauss
Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 27, 2021)
Photo Credit: Israel Police/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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