Israeli attack on fasting Palestinians in al-Quds continues for third night
Israeli forces in al-Quds attacked and arrested a number of fasting Palestinians who gathered at Damascus Gate to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan for the third night.
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The Palestinian Ma'an news agency said Israeli soldiers used tear gas and sound bombs to disperse the Palestinians who had gathered for Iftar, a meal served at the end of the fasting day during Ramadan, near Bab al-Amoud on Monday night.
Citing witnesses, the news agency said at least six Palestinian youths were arrested during the clashes, three of whom were taken into custody by undercover special Israeli forces and severely beaten.
The occupying regime has since the start of Ramadan turned the Bab al-Amoud into a military barracks by deploying a large number of its forces in the area, according to Palestinian media.
The latest violence came after Israeli police detained 10 Palestinians and injured some 20 others in the same area on Sunday.
Palestine's official Wafa news agency said the confrontations started after Israeli police had intensified their presence at Bab al-Amoud and placed barriers on both sides of it since the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. “Police beat up and detained some 10 Palestinians as they attacked the youths to force them to leave the area, including an elderly man who sustained a head injury after being beaten up by the police,” the agency said.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said at least 19 Palestinians were injured, four of the injuries were rushed to hospitals and the others were treated at the scene.
The flare-up of tensions coincided with the Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid’s provocative visit to Bab al-Amoud in the Old City of al-Quds, which was denounced by the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas as a “dangerous escalation.”
Hamas spokesman Mohamed Hamada said in a statement on Sunday that Lapid’s tour of Bab al-Amud and the violent police raid on the same area reflected Israeli persistence in carrying out malicious plots against the occupied al-Quds and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.
Hamada also described Lapid’s step as “a provocation to the feelings of the Palestinian people and the Muslim nation during the holy month of Ramadan.”
Palestinians have ramped up their retaliatory attacks against Israeli forces in recent weeks, carrying out a series of operations that have killed at least 11 Israelis since March 22. Eight Palestinians have also been killed during the same period.
Last week, a Palestinian man identified as Diaa Hamarsheh killed five Israelis, including a policeman, before being shot dead in the ultra-orthodox town of Bnei Brak east of Tel Aviv.
The operation came days after two Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli forces and wounded four others in a shooting attack in the northern Israeli city of Hadera before being shot dead.