Those clashes eased when police removed restrictive fencing from the site at the behest of city leaders. As the sun went down in Jerusalem, clashes emerged as worshipers used the occasion to protest recent Israeli moves that attempted to increase its grip on East Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.
It called on the worldwide community to "take urgent and immediate action to deter the repeated attacks of the Israeli enemy against the brotherly Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa Mosque", stressing "the need to confront the continued Israeli intransigence and stop the Israeli settlement and displacement activities in the occupied city of Jerusalem".
The global community, including the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Jordan, are calling for "calm" to maintain stability. There were no reports of damage or casualties. Many stayed on to protest against the evictions in the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sunday night is Laylat al-Qadr or the Night of Destiny, the most sacred in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Islamic authorities estimated 90,000 people gathered for intense nighttime prayers at Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam.
Outside the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, Palestinians set fire to a barricade before police on horseback dispersed the protesters. Police patrols fired stun grenades as they moved through the area, and a police truck periodically fired a water cannon.
The latest clashes followed violence on Wednesday night, when 22 Palestinians were wounded, according to the Red Crescent. "By gathering here we show that no matter how hard the circumstances, be it coronavirus or other difficulties, we will stand by our ideals and will support them", Iranian woman, Atiyeh Nadafi said in Tehran. "You should be ashamed!" he said.
At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.
Earlier Saturday, police stopped a convoy of buses that were filled with Arab citizens on the main highway heading to Jerusalem for Ramadan prayers.
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Ibtasam Maraana, an Arab member of parliament, accused police of a "terrible attack" on freedom of religion.
The current wave of protests broke out at the beginning of Ramadan three weeks ago when Israel restricted gatherings at a popular meeting spot outside Jerusalem's Old City. This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions, and acts of terrorism.
An Israeli border policeman aims a weapon near the scene of a security incident at an Israeli military base near Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, May 7, 2021.
On Monday, the Israeli District Committee for Jerusalem published its decision to approve the plan to build 540 housing units to expand the Har Homa settlement between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.
In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, 169 residents, including 46 children, from 12 different families have received eviction notices so their homes can be occupied illegally by Israeli settlers.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was to blame for the flaring tensions in Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.
The letter notes that "East Jerusalem is part of the West Bank, and under global law, Israel is in military occupation of this territory, notwithstanding its illegal incorporation of East Jerusalem within the Jerusalem municipality and its subsequent illegal de jure annexation of East Jerusalem".