Palestinians, Jewish settlers clash east of Jerusalem: witnesses

09:26, May 13, 2010      

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Violent clashes erupted on Wednesday evening between dozens of Palestinians and Jewish settlers backed by Israeli police forces in east Jerusalem, Palestinian witnesses said.

The witnesses said the violence broke out when the Israeli police forces shut down the area of the old city in Ras al-Amoud in east Jerusalem, and allowed Jewish settlers to arrange a precession while waving the flags of Israel.

They added that while the participants were waving Israeli flags, the settlers' procession walked from the western part of the city and reached the area of Damascus Gate, in the Palestinian eastern part of the city.

Palestinian youths hurled stones at the settlers and the police forces, which responded with firing rubber bullets and tear gas canisters in a bid to disperse the Palestinians and force them away from the settlers' procession.

No injuries were reported, according to the witnesses.

The Jewish settlers who were participating in what is called " the procession of flags" were supposed to go for a dancing ceremony with the Israeli flags at Damascus Gate, and then walk around al-Aqsa Mosque after passing through Sultan Suleiman street and the other gates that lead to the mosque.

Israel and the Palestinians are disputing over Jerusalem, where Israel considers the city as the eternal capital of the Jewish state, while the Palestinians want the eastern part occupied by Israel in 1967, to be the capital of their future state.



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