1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Israel l Protest palästinensischer Muslime in Jerusalem
Image: Mostafa Alkharouf/AA/picture alliance

Dozens arrested in Jerusalem clashes

April 23, 2021

Police in riot gear have used tear gas and stun grenades to end the clashes. Palestinians and far-right Israelis squared off near the Damascus Gate overnight.


Israeli police said on Friday that they had arrested at least 40 people after clashes in Jerusalem between Palestinians and right-wing extremists.  

The violence happened late in the city's contested east on Thursday and early Friday morning. Palestinian health officials said at least 100 people had been injured.

Tensions have spiked in recent days in Jerusalem, which has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Police in riot gear had to intervene to stop the clashes; they deployed water cannons, stun grenades and armored vehicles to break up the crowds.

Israel l Einsatz von Wasserwerfern, Zusammenstöße in Jerusalem
Image: Ammar Awad/REUTERS

A group of Palestinians had gathered around Jerusalem’s historic Damascus Gate, with nationalist Israeli protesters just a few hundred meters away.

Many of them chanted "Death to Arabs" and some held banners that read: "Death to terrorists."

 Israeli border police block members of
Israeli border police block members of "Lahava," a Jewish extremist group to approach to Damascus GateImage: Ariel Schalit/AP/picture alliance

What has sparked the latest violence?

Palestinians accuse Israel of trying to prevent them from holding their traditional Ramadan gatherings at the Damascus Gate, clashing regularly with police since the start of the annual festival earlier this month.

Jews have also been angered by a spate of TikTok videos showing Palestinians assaulting members of the ultra-Orthodox community.

There have also been a number of attacks by Jews on Arabs in Jerusalem this week, including an incident where Jewish youths chanting anti-Arab slogans assaulted an Arab driver who stopped to remonstrate with them.

The incidents have threatened to break a sustained period of relative quiet in the holy city.

The city contains holy sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians.Image: Marco Brivio/Zoonar/picture alliance

Disputed holy city of Jerusalem

Easter celebrations in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war from Jordan and annexed it in a move not recognized by most of the international community.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.

Its fate has been one of the most divisive issues in the peace process, which ground to a halt more than a decade ago.

The US Embassy said in a statement it was "deeply concerned" about the violence in recent days.

"We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem," it said.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians attended weekly prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday.

The site is the third holiest in Islam and the holiest for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.

jf/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

A serviceman of the Russian Central Military District operates a Grad multiple rocket launcher

Ukraine updates: Russia intensifies front-line offensive

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage