Following Friday prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Palestinians began hurling stones at security forces at the Old City's Mughrabi Gate. The forces stormed through the gate and dispersed the rioters with the use of stun grenades. Firecrackers were thrown at security forces as they entered the Temple Mount compound. Police said there were no injures. Order was restored a few minutes later, but at the same time much fiercer clashes erupted in Hebron and other locations across the West Bank.
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Dozens of police officers charged the Temple Mount after groups of Palestinians were hurling stones at IDF and police units at the scene. No injuries were reported in the riots, and one protester was arrested by police.
Jerusalem District Police Chief Yossi Parienti said once the rioters were dispersed: "The Jerusalem police decided to allow prayer in the Temple Mount today (Friday) though there was palpable tension. We allowed the prayer.
Police in Temple Mount (Photo: Reuters)
Unfortunately, however, when the prayers were over, dozens of veiled men were flaring fireworks and hurling stones at the direction of police forces on scene, and we had to charge the Temple Mount.
One man was arrested and none were injured," the chief added. After the Temple Mount was empty we left the scene.
Several dozen Palestinians demonstrated near the Beit Hadassah neighborhood in Hebron's Jewish settlement. Nearby, at Hashoter Square, dozens of Palestinians began throwing rocks at security forces. Hundreds of Palestinians also protested at the Bituniyeh Checkpoint, near Ofer Prison. Dozens of them hurled stones at soldiers and Border Guard officers. Additional clashes erupted near the village of Nabi Saleh in the Binyamin region. Security forces were using riot dispersal means against the demonstrators. There were no reports of injury in the incidents.
As was the case in previous riots, Palestinian police tried to prevent the stone throwing and confronted the protesters.
Riots in Hebron (Photo: Reuters)
The riots in Hebron took place as part of the annual protest against the closing of Shuhada Street. The army has kept the street, one of Hebron's main thoroughfares, closed since Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein murdered 19 Muslim worshippers at the Cave of the Patriarchs 19 years ago. The other protests across the West Bank were held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, including four hunger striking administrative detainees. Similar protests were held on Thursday.
IDF soldiers in Hebron (Photo: Reuters)
During riots at the Bituniyeh Checkpoint on Thursday, Channel 1 reporter Yoram Cohen sustained light injuries to his head and was evacuated to a hospital. Another reporter was also lightly injured in the violence. A number of Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.
Administrative detainee Samer Issawi was sentenced Thursday to eight months in prison for illegally entering the West Bank, thus breaking the terms of his release in the Shalit prisoner exchange.
Another administrative detainee on hunger strike, Jafar Azzidine, was taken to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center overnight Friday, after feeling unwell. In addition, Ayman Sharawna, also on a hunger strike, was hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. The fourth detainee on a hunger strike, Tarik Hussein, was also admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center on Friday.
The Shin Bet internal security service said the hunger strike is a "clear violation" of the agreement reached with the leaders of the Palestinian prisoners in May 2012.
Both Sharawna and Issawi were rearrested after they resumed terror-related activity following their release in the framework of the Shalit deal.
Elior Levy, Raanan Ben-Zur contributed to the report