Clashes between rioters and police broke out in the Temple Mount compound at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Friday morning during Ramadan prayers after hundreds of people, some with their faces covered and carrying Hamas flags, began a riot that included preparing fortifications, throwing stones and shooting fireworks, the Israel Police Jerusalem District said.
Despite the stone-throwing, the police waited for the prayers to commence and the worshipers to disperse. When the rioter’ violence intensified and neared the back of the Western Wall, where prayers were ongoing, the police used riot control methods to push the mass back, the police said.
A rioter whose face was covered was injured during the clashes and was evacuated for medical treatment.
“While many police officers are operating in order to enable the freedom of worship while maintaining security, law and order in the holy places and throughout Jerusalem, there are those who choose to riot and disturb public order,” the police said.
“We will continue to act against lawless rioters in order to maintain public well-being and safety,” the police added.
At least 27 people were injured, out of which 11 were transferred to hospitals, two in serious condition, Arabic media the Palestinian Red Crescent as saying.
Hamas in a statement on Thursday called on Palestinians to “mobilize at dawn tomorrow in defense of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque.”
The riot comes as tensions in the capital have risen in recent days due to numerous riots by Palestinian worshipers and an ensuing flag march led by MK Itamar Ben Gvir on Wednesday through the Old City as well as thousands of Israelis visiting the holy site during Passover.