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Police clash with Palestinians, far-right march in Jerusalem

Israeli police clashed with Palestinians outside Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday and manned barricades to prevent hundreds of Jewish extremists from marching to the area.

Tensions are even higher than normal in the city, which is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims and has long been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The police have clashed with Palestinians on a nightly basis since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last week, when authorities set up barricades at Damascus Gate, a traditional outdoor gathering spot.

Palestinians run away as a stun grenades are fired by Israeli police during clashes at Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April. 22, 2021. Palestinians clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on Ramadan gatherings ahead of a planned march by Lahava, a Jewish extremist group, to the area later on Thursday amid heightened tensions in the city. (AP PhotoMahmoud Illean)

Police said the protesters threw stones and bottles. Footage circulating online showed police and hundreds of protesters running through the streets as the sound of either fireworks or stun grenades echoed in the background. Police said three people were arrested.

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 32 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, including 12 who were hospitalized.

Meanwhile, a far-right Jewish group known as Lahava led a march of hundreds of protesters chanting “Arabs get out!” toward Damascus Gate. The show of force came in response to videos circulated on TikTok showing Palestinians slapping religious Jews at random. Other videos made in response to them appear to show Jews assaulting Arabs.

A wounded Palestinian demonstrator receives treatment after he was hit during clashes with Israeli police at Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April. 22, 2021. Palestinians clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on Ramadan gatherings ahead of a planned march by Lahava, a Jewish extremist group, to the area later on Thursday amid heightened tensions in the city. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)

Police set up barricades a few hundred meters (yards) from Damascus Gate and by late Thursday appeared to have succeeded in keeping the protesters separated.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, where the Old City is located, in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Its status was one of the thorniest issues in the peace process, which ground to a halt more than a decade ago.

Israeli border police block members of "Lahava", a Jewish extremist group, to approach to Damascus Gate to protest amid heightened tensions in the city, just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)

Israeli border police detain an Israeli youth as members of "Lahava", a Jewish extremist group, as they try approach to Damascus Gate to protest amid heightened tensions in the city, just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)

Mounted Israeli police officers ride past a fire during clashes with Palestinians, just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April 22, 2021. Israeli police manned barricades to prevent hundreds of Jewish extremists from marching to the area as police clashed with Palestinians on a nightly basis since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last week, when they set up barricades at Damascus Gate, a traditional outdoor gathering spot. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)

Israeli border police block members of "Lahava", a Jewish extremist group on approach to Damascus Gate to protest amid heightened tensions in the city, just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)

Israeli border police block members of "Lahava," a Jewish extremist group to approach to Damascus Gate to protest amid heightened tensions in the city, just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)