World, Middle East

Israeli forces withdraw from Jerusalem's Damascus Gate

Palestinians remove Israeli barricades from central Jerusalem landmark, celebrate victory over occupiers

Said Amouri   | 25.04.2021
Israeli forces withdraw from Jerusalem's Damascus Gate Palestinians remove metallic barriers as they gather at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 25, 2021. ( Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency )

JERUSALEM

Israeli forces withdrew late Sunday from the Damascus Gate area in central Jerusalem after having closed it to Palestinians since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that after the Israeli withdrawal, Palestinians removed the iron barricades that had limited Palestinian movement in the area.

Palestinians remove metallic barriers in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM - APRIL 25: Palestinians remove metallic barriers as they gather at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 25, 2021. ( Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency )

Hundreds of Palestinians celebrated the event as "a victory over the Israeli occupiers."

Israel’s private Channel 12 confirmed that Israeli forces withdrew from the Damascus Gate area after seeing clashes with Palestinians in recent days.

Around an hour later, however, the Israeli army harshly attacked Palestinians without any prior warning, according to eyewitnesses.

The eyewitnesses said the soldiers attacked the peaceful demonstration with tear gas and flash-booms.

An elderly disabled person was among those who were attacked, and the occupying forces detained at least three people.

Some people were injured in the intervention, but they were treated at the scene and not hospitalized.

Since the start of Ramadan, Israeli forces have banned Palestinians from sitting in the Damascus Gate area and holding festive activities.

The situation escalated when Israeli settlers launched attacks on Palestinians in the flashpoint city.

More than 130 Palestinians have been injured in clashes between Israeli forces and local residents in Jerusalem since Thursday, and at least 100 Palestinians have been detained.

Palestinian territories including the West Bank and East Jerusalem have been under Israeli occupation since 1967. The Israeli occupation is considered illegal under international law.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara


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