After weeks of mounting tensions between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the Old City of Jerusalem clashes erupted. The day began with police announcing that Jews would be barred from visiting the holy site on what Israelis mark as Jerusalem Day. At some point, about 400 people, both young protesters and older worshippers, were inside the carpeted Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades into the mosque. Smoke rose in front of the mosque. More than 305 Palestinians were hurt, including 228 who went to hospitals and clinics for treatment, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Seven of the injured were in serious condition. Police said 21 officers were hurt, including three who were hospitalized. Police said protesters hurled stones at officers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back against the criticism Monday, describing Israel’s actions in Jerusalem as a law-and-order issue.
Netanyahu said Israel is determined to ensure the rights of worship for all and that this “requires from time to time stand up and stand strong as Israeli police and our security forces are doing now.” Hamas militants fired a large barrage of rockets into Israel on Monday after clashes at mosque. Explosions could be heard in Jerusalem. Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, said the attack was a response to what he called Israeli “crimes and aggression” in Jerusalem. Israeli officials have argued behind the scenes that the Biden administration shouldn’t intervene over the recent escalation in violence. The language used in the White House summary was quite mild and moderate. The United Nations Security Council is meeting.