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Dozens hurt in violent clashes in Jerusalem ahead of planned march
10 May 2021, 07:25 | Updated: 10 May 2021, 07:28
Israeli police faced off with Palestinian protesters in east Jerusalem for another night as the holy city's worst religious unrest in several years continued.
The violence came a day before Israeli nationalists plan to parade through the Old City in an annual display for Jerusalem Day.
Protesters threw stones at the police at the Damascus Gate in the Old City, and officers used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon. On Friday, more than 200 Palestinians and at least 17 Israeli police were wounded in skirmishes near Al-Aqsa mosque.
Addressing a special Cabinet meeting ahead of Jerusalem Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel "will not allow any extremists to destabilise the calm in Jerusalem. We will enforce law and order decisively and responsibly".
"We will continue to maintain freedom of worship for all faiths, but we will not allow violent disturbances," he said.
At the same time, he added: "We emphatically reject the pressures not to build in Jerusalem."
Israeli police granted approval for the parade today despite days of unrest and soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions at a flashpoint holy site.
This year the march coincides with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time of heightened religious sensitivities, and follows weeks of clashes.
The US has renewed its "serious concerns" about the situation.
Washington made these known during a phone call between national security advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart.
Mr Sullivan urged Israel "to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations", according to a statement by National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne.