Israeli far-right Lehava demonstrators clashed with Palestinians on Thursday, leaving a hundred wounded and more than two dozens arrested. Israeli riot police were dispatched to suppress the two but somehow the majority of Lehava protesters managed to flee while the Palestinians bore much of the brunt of fighting.
Last night it was reported that more than 100 Palestinians along with 20 Israeli police officers were wounded during violent clashes with the Israeli far-right ultra-nationalist ultra-orthodox group that took to the streets of East Jerusalem, chanting “death to Arabs” and engaged in verbal sparring with Palestinians. According to the news, both sides engaged in a street fight between the Damascus Gate and the Old City’s New Gate, using anything at their disposal to inflict injury upon the other. By the time the Israeli riot police arrived, some were already injured but to mitigate the damage a large part of the buffer zone was sealed off, pushing each side back to their original position.
It didn’t take long for someone to lose patience and once again all hell broke loose. In a blink of an eye violence erupted and police forcibly intervened. After the confrontation more than a hundred Palestinian protesters were hospitalized while the Israeli extremists, which by the way belonged to one of the most radical groups in the country named Lehava, were smuggled to safety. Tensions in East Jerusalem of course began flaring up ever since the beginning of the muslims holy month of Ramadan.
According to the reports, Israeli police were instructed by the government to erect barriers outside Damascus Gate to prevent Palestinians from gathering around the places considered sacred to perform their religious duties together. In the meantime, Lehava members were supposedly tipped off about “an attack” that some Palestinians had carried out against ultra-orthodox community months ago. Though there are simply no reasons to believe that it was a premeditated skirmish, it is too early to rule out the possibility of collaboration between Lehava protesters and the riot police, especially since during the standoff only the Palestinians and the police members were directly injured as a result.
In spite of Israelis attempting to kill such news before getting out, thanks to the wonders of modern technology it has been extremely hard for them to monitor everything. Because of that, people around the world get to see what’s really been going on in the country and so does the UN and other international institutions. Pertaining to the situation at hand, UN and the European members of the security council have called on Israel to allow the Palestinians to be able to vote for their legislative election for the first time in nearly 15 years. They are of the mind that small concessions as such could prove instrumental in diffusing the tension between the two people. Israel hasn’t responded yet.
East Jerusalem is counted among the most volatile places not just in Israel but the whole Middle-East because of its political climate. Palestinians believe that East Jerusalem is the last bastion of defense against Israel’s annexation plans whilst the Israelis believe that they are the uncontested owners of the place because of their biblical claims. Both parties wish to see the city hailed as their respective capital and neither is willing to concede that to the other. One thing however should be clear by now: As long as the world refuses to intervene and settle the matter between the two, violence is bound to happen. Last night fortunately ended with injuries and no casualty but should tomorrow come, can we say for certain that all will be well?