Jerusalem tensions: Rockets fired as unrest spirals — As it happened | News | DW | 10.05.2021
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Jerusalem tensions: Rockets fired as unrest spirals — As it happened

The holy city, which contains sacred sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians, has been rocked by violence over the past three days. Hamas has launched a rocket attack at the city in the latest escalation of tensions.

Watch video 01:18

Police clash with protesters in East Jerusalem

  • Explosions heard as rockets fired at Jerusalem
  • Hamas claims responsibility for rocket attack
  • Israeli military conduct airstrikes in Gaza in retaliation
  • Global leaders slam 'unacceptable escalation'
  • Organizers cancel controversial Jerusalem Day parade
  • Palestinian medics report some 300 wounded in clashes at mosque

This live article was last updated at 23:56 UTC

Live updates ended

This live updates article has now been closed. For a wrap-up of Monday's events, see here: Israel responds to Hamas rockets with deadly airstrikes in Gaza

Hamas says more than 100 rockets fired at Israel

Hamas says it has launched over 100 rockets at Israel so far on Monday. The most recent barrage of rockets have targeted Ashkelon, a city that lies fairly close to the Gaza Strip's northern border. 

The Israeli military is continuing its operations, claiming Israeli jets have struck an offensive "terror tunnel" in Gaza. The military says the tunnel was used to faciliate attacks on Israeli territory.

The military says 150 rockets were shot from Gaza. The majority of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.

Egypt and Qatar are reportedly working to reduce tensions between sides, according to the AFP news agency.

Germany condemns rockets fired at Israel

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned the latest violence in the region. 


"Rocket fire on civilians is not justifiable under any circumstances — and certainly no contribution to solving the conflict, but a senseless new escalation of violence," Maas said in a statement. "All sides have a responsibility to prevent further civilian casualties."

In addition, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "all sides need to deescalate" in the Middle East.

Palestinian authorities revise death toll after airstrikes

The Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip now say 20 people are dead following Israeli airstrikes, including nine children, with 65 people wounded. The Israeli military said eight militants have been killed in the strikes. 

Watch video 04:33

Jerusalem tensions - Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi talks to DW

UK, EU call for deescalation 

UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Britain "condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel." He called for a deescalation of tensions on all sides.

EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret also said he is "extremely concerned" by sprialing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu vows tough response to rockets

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to harshly respond to the rocket attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. 

"Israel will respond with great force. We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers," Netanyahu said in a statement. He accused Hamas of crossing a red line due to its attack on Jerusalem.

"Those who attack us will pay a heavy price," he said, adding that fighting may last "some time."

White House concerned about ongoing crisis

The White House is concerned about the clashes in Jerusalem and the escalation of tensions in the region. 

"We are continuing to monitor the violence closely in Israel," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday. 

The US State Department called the rocket attacks into Israel an "unacceptable escalation."

The ongoing situation is one of the first foreign policy crises that President Joe Biden's administration has faced so far.

Fire spotted at Al-Aqsa compound

A tree caught on fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to reports from Reuters and AFP news agencies. The mosque itself has not been damaged.

The fire has since been put out. Witnesses told Reuters that the blaze was due to fireworks that were thrown by Palestinians.

A grab from an AFPTV video shows a tree on fire near Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque complex

Footage showed a large, orange blaze next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but it was later extinguished

Palestinians say nine killed in Gaza due to airstrikes

The Gazan Health Ministry says nine people were killed in the northern town of Beit Hanoun due to Israeli airstrikes. The Palestinian authorities claim three children were among those killed.

The Israeli military says it holds Hamas responsible for the rocket attacks, warning the group it will bear consequences for its actions. A military spokesperon confirmed it is conducting strikes on Hamas-associated targets in the strip and said it is adding addition forces to its Gaza division.

The Israeli military operation is expected to last for several days.

Lawmakers, worshippers evacuated amid rocket barrage

Israel is evacuating citizens as it experiences a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip. Israeli lawmakers in the parliament, formally known as the Knesset, have cancelled their session and evacuated from the building amid the attack. 

Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall have also been escorted from the area due to rocket fire and clashes with Palestinians.

'A major escalation'

On the ground in Jerusalem, the city braced for Israeli security forces to respond to the rocket attack. 

"We are expecting a harsh response from the Israeli side," DW correspondent Tania Krämer said.

She noted that Jerusalem rarely is the target of rocket fire, and called the move "a major escalation."

DW reporter heard 'impact' in Jerusalem

DW correspondent Tania Krämer was live on air Jerusalem when the sirens went off and explosions were heard in the city.

"I can hear now there was some kind of impact," she told DW, adding that it was not immediately clear who or what was responsible.

Rocket alarms sound off in central Israel, Hamas claims responsibility

Israel has sounded alarms in Jerusalem following rocket fire. Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is due to "Israeli crimes and aggression." 

The Israeli military said an anti-tank missile was shot towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. The military said seven rockets have been shot so far from Gaza, with most of them landing in open areas.

One of the rockets hit a house in Jerusalem, although no casualties were reported.

The last time Jerusalem experienced rocket fire was in 2014, during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.

Rocket alarms have also been sounded in the southern city of Sderot. The Al-Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, said it fired 30 rockets at Sderot.

The Israeli military said a civilian vehicle in southern Israel was struck by a rocket from Gaza, injuring one person.

Turkey's Erdogan condemns Israel amid talks with Palestinian leaders

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized Israel in new comments, saying he would mobilize to fight Israeli "terror." Erdogan made the comments during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. 

Erdogan's office said the Turkish leader "will do everything in his power to mobilize the world, especially the Islamic world, to stop Israel's terror and occupation."

Erdogan is a frequent critic of Israel, with Turkish-Israeli relations having deteriorated significantly under his leadership.

Israeli march organizers cancel event after redirection 

The organizers of the Jerusalem Day march have announced they will cancel the event after authorities ordered the marchers change their route to prevent escalation. Some of the marchers, however, may go ahead with the event anyway despite the cancellation.

"The March of the Flags is cancelled," said the Am Kalavi Foundation, which organized the event.

Hamas issues ultimatum to Israel

Hamas, the paramilitary group in control of the Gaza Strip, has issued an ultimatum to the Israeli authorities. The group is demanding Israeli troops withdraw from the Temple Mount and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by 6 p.m. local time (1500 UTC), or else it will launch attacks against Israel.

Israeli forces have been given about an hour to respond. The Israeli military has suspended a major military drill in order to focus on the ongoing security crisis.

Israeli police limit Jerusalem march 

Israeli police have decided to limit the "Jerusalem Day" march this afternoon, with participants not allowed to pass through the Old City's Jerusalem Gate and Muslim Quarter. The move is intended to prevent confrontations between the Israeli marchers and Palestinians.

The decision was reportedly ordered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jewish women some covered with Israeli flags pray during Jerusalem Day

Draped in Israeli flags, Jewish women took part in prayers at the Western Wall to mark Jerusalem Day — an Israeli holiday to mark the capture of the Old City during the 1967 war

Alleged collusion by judicial authorities

DW has been speaking to Mohammed el Kurd, a young writer whose family is one of those being threatened with eviction.

"There is clear collusion between the settler organizations and the Israeli judicial system to throw us out of our homes," he said. Read the full report here.

Germany calls for de-escalation  

"We call on both sides, now, to make an urgent contribution to deescalate the situation," said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert as he called on Israelis and Palestinians to show restraint.

Netanyahu backs police's 'strong stand'

"We insist on ensuring the rights of everyone, this occasionally requires taking a strong stand as the officers of the Israel Police, and our security forces, are doing at the moment. We back them in this just struggle," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as saying by his spokesman Ofir Gendelman. 

Calm restored, Israel says

Gendelman tweeted that calm has been restored on Temple Mount. 

The latest from DW on the ground

Israeli security services recommend that police change the planned route of the scheduled march through the Old City area of Jerusalem to prevent clashes with Muslim residents, said DW correspondent Tania Krämer.

Israeli participants were initially meant to march through the flashpoint Damascus Gate and Muslim Quarter. 

Violence broke out early Monday morning as several young Palestinians stayed overnight to prevent the planned Israeli marches from entering the Al-Aqsa compound, she added. 

Israeli police said they entered the compound to disperse the crowds, which sparked the confrontations as Palestinians threw stones and barricades while police fired stun grenades, Krämer said. 

Over 150 protesters were in need of medical attention.

Medics tend to a wounded Palestinian during clashes with Israeli police at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa.

Dozens were hospitalized after violence erupted at the Al-Aqsa compound

 

EU envoy calls for 'immediate calm'

The European Union’s envoy to the Palestinians raised concern over the violence and urged all sides to refrain from violence.

The EU delegation called on on the Israeli security forces to "exercise maximum restraint and allow paramedics to enter to provide medical services to those injured."

"We call on all to uphold and respect the status quo of the holy sites." 

Israeli forces shut down Al-Aqsa

Israeli security forces have confiscated all the keys to the Al-Aqsa Mosque after evacuating it, according to the Palestinian Authority's Information Center. 

Footage published by the Israeli police showed security forces shutting down the doors to the mosque. 

Israeli car pelted with stones 

A group of Palestinians pelted a car carrying Israeli civilians with stones outside Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli media reported. 

The vehicle lost control and rammed into Palestinians, according to police. 

Palestinians accused the motorist of a deliberate ramming.

Israeli police say 9 officers were wounded

Israeli police said nine officer were injured after several hours of clashes with Palestinians in Temple Mount. 

"Security forces of Israel have been working since morning against violations of order and violent riots in Temple Mount," Israel Police said on Facebook.

  

Palestinian Authority slams Al-Aqsa 'storming' 

"Storming Al-Aqsa mosque is a crime committed by the occupation. The Palestinian leadership is examining all options to respond to this heinous aggression against the holy sites and the citizens," said Hussein Al-Sheikh, head of the General Authority of Civil Affairs.

Palestinians say Israeli police attacked Al-Aqsa compound 

Palestinians reported that Israeli police fired stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets into the mosque compound on Monday. Medics say over 150 people have been hospitalized. 

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 305 people were wounded, including seven with serious injuries. 

Israeli police say Palestinians threw stones

Police said protesters threw stones from the mosque compound onto an adjoining roadway.

A spokesman for Netanyahu claimed that "extremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots'' at the holy site.

Israel targets Hamas positions 

Israel responded to an earlier militant attack with tank fire against positions belonging to Hamas —  the Islamist group ruling Gaza.

Israel says militants fired rockets

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired at least three rockets towards Israel after launching four projectiles a day earlier, the Israeli military said.

No casualties or damage were reported.

UN urges Israel to show 'restraint'

The UN has urged Israel to exercise "restraint" as tensions rise between Israelis and Palestinians over the contested area of east Jerusalem, with clashes leaving more than 300 people wounded in recent days.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants the Israeli government to halt all demolitions and evictions from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, his spokesman said.

Watch video 02:30

Palestinians fear losing homes as evictions loom

Israel green-lights Jerusalem Day march

Israeli officials have approved a march known as Jerusalem Day in which participants support Israel's claim to the whole of the holy city. But police barred Jews from visiting Temple Mount amid the rising tensions with Palestinians. 

The annual march is considered highly provocative by Palestinians as it celebrates Israel's occupation of east Jerusalem, which it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

A Palestinian man encounters an Israeli soldier at Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem

Tensions have been on the rise for the past three days as the international community appeals for calm.

Washington raises 'serious concerns' 

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called his Israeli counterpart, Meir-Ben Shabbat, on Sunday to underline Washington's "serious concerns" about the situation there.

He urged Israel “to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations,” according to a statement by National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne. 

Netanyahu defends Israel's response to protests

Netanyahu on Sunday defended Israel's response to the protests and rioting in east Jerusalem.

"We will uphold law and order — vigorously and responsibly," Netanyahu said ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting while vowing to "guard freedom of worship for all faiths."

Israeli court cancels hearing session

The long-running dispute between settlers and Palestinian families had been set to face a key legal hearing on Monday.

But officials canceled the session at the Israeli supreme court on whether four Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah will be told to leave their homes.

World powers raise 'deep concerns' 

The Middle East quartet of world powers — the EU, the US, the United Nations, and Russia —  said on Sunday that it has "deep concerns" about the recent violence there.

Clashes in Jerusalem

Clashes have raged for the past three days in the holy city of Jerusalem

All six predominantly Muslim nations that have diplomatic ties with the Israeli government — Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan — have also condemned Israel over the unrest.

In Jordan, which is the custodian of Jerusalem's holy Islamic and Christian sites, King Abdullah II hit out on Sunday at "Israeli violations and escalatory practices at the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque."

Worshippers pray outside the Al-Asqa mosque

The Al-Aqsa mosque is one of Islam's most revered locations, but its location is also the holiest site in Judaism, known as the Temple Mount.

Pope Francis, in his weekly Sunday mass, also urged calm from both sides.

"Violence only breeds more violence," he told worshippers in St Peter's Square in Rome.

Tensions flare in Jerusalem

Hundreds of Palestinians were injured over the weekend as Israeli security forces dispersed demonstrations and clashed with protesters.

Protests erupted as a legal case put dozens of Palestinians at the risk of expulsion from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. 

fb, jf, wd/rt (AP, AFP) 

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