JERUSALEM, March 16 (JMCC) - More than 90 Palestinians were injured by tear gas and rubber bullets fired by Israeli police in clashes, a Red Crescent spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Fourteen Israeli border police and security personnel were lightly injured, including one policeman who was shot in the hand in Ras al-Amoud.
Clashes broke out in Shufat refugee camp
in northern Jerusalem
Tuesday as Palestinian leaders called for protests against the dedication of a Jewish synagogue in the tense Jerusalem Old City.
Palestinian youth threw stones at Israeli police and border guards at the checkpoint to the entrance to the camp early Tuesday morning. Clashes were also underway in Isawiya
, Wadi Joz, Qalandiya
and Ras al-Amoud in and around the occupied city. Hamas
leader Khaled Mashaal on Monday declared a day of rage and called on Palestinians to demonstrate Tuesday to protect Jerusalem.
This is a meeting of anger and victory and a start of an open campaign for the sake of Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Palestine, he told an assembly of Palestinian groups in Damascus, where Mashaal is based.
The campaign is to protest the dedication of the Hurva synagogue, a religious site that was rededicated on Sunday and Monday in Jerusalem's walled Old City.
In Jewish tradition, a return to this synagogue marks the start of the rebuilding of a third Jewish temple on the site of the al-Aqsa mosque. Its location just next to the Muslim holy site has raised the ire of Palestinians and Muslims.
The Hurva synagogue was inaugurated Monday evening amid tight security. Some 3,000 police and soldiers blocked entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City. Palestinians under the age of 50 were banned from entering the al-Aqsa mosque area to pray.
It is clear that the occupation is changing the rules so that I as a Muslim am forbidden to enter the al-Aqsa mosque, but strangers are allowed to enter and lead prayers and the religious rites of the Torah,” said Sheikh Kamal Khatib, representative of the Islamic movement inside Israel.
Israeli ministers and parliament members participated in the dedication of the religious site – whose name means ‘destruction’ in Hebrew - and speeches made emphasized the importance of the return of Jews to the area.
Renovation of the synagogue began six years ago and reportedly cost the Israeli government more than six million dollars.
Sheikh Khatib criticized Israeli politicians for comments made invoking the construction of a third Jewish temple in Jerusalem. “They believe that this step precedes the construction of the temple, something that was previously denied. Therefore, the opening of this synagogue is a prelude to construction and Tuesday will be an international day marking the construction of a third Jewish temple.”
“This has significant implications. Israel is unveiling the true face of the conflict, the face of the sage and the rabbi that drive it, rather than its false claims of secularism.”
After the opening festivities Monday, clashes broke out in the Old City. Two Palestinians were injured, and one boy, 12-year-old Eyad Taweel, detained.
Palestinians also called a commercial strike for two hours in Jerusalem Monday, and were expected to repeat the strike on Tuesday between 11 am and 1 pm.
Recent Jewish settlement
construction in Jerusalem has raised
tensions in the area Israel occupied in the 1967 war, setting the stage for the current clashes.