New protests called after Jerusalem clashes wound over 200

Israel braced for more protests Saturday after clashes at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound wounded more than 200 people and as the US, EU and regional powers urged calm after days of escalating violence.

In the unrest following Muslim prayers on Friday, Israeli riot police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinians who hurled rocks, bottles and fireworks at Islam’s third-holiest site which is also revered by Jews.

Video footage showed Israeli forces storming the mosque’s sprawling plaza and firing sound grenades inside the building, where throngs of worshippers including women and children were praying on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A call for demonstrations Saturday in solidarity with Jerusalem Palestinians came from an advocacy group for Arab Israelis, who make up 20 percent of the country’s population, the High Follow up Committee for the Arabs in Israel.

“This includes evictions in east Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions and acts of terrorism,” the State Department said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he held the Israeli government “responsible” for the unrest and voiced “full support for our heroes in Al-Aqsa”.

Jordan condemned Israel’s “barbaric attack” in Jerusalem, calling on the international community to stop the “escalation and violations” at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Read the article in The Advertiser and The Australian.