Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Israel police throw stun grenade at rioters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. May 8, 2021

Muslims continued their Ramadan Riots in Jerusalem on Sunday night and staged a violent demonstration in Haifa as tensions in the country remained high ahead of the end of the month of Ramadan and as Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day.

Israel celebrates the reunification of its capital and its victory in the 1967 Six-Day War on Jerusalem Day, marked this year on Monday.

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At Shaar Shechem, the Damascus Gate at the entrance to the Old City, hundreds of rioters attacked police forces with bottles, rocks, and fireworks, and the police responded with crowd control means.

Clashes continued in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where the rioters voiced support for Arab families living illegally on Jewish-owned land. The rioters torched several cars and a number of Jews were evacuated to a hospital for treatment following injuries they incurred in the attacks.

Jews were attacked by Arabs at several other locations in the city.

One man sustained a head injury after his car was attacked with a massive barrage of rocks in the A-Tur neighborhood.

In Haifa, police forces battled Arab rioters on Ben Gurion Boulevard as they blocked traffic and threw rocks and bottles at the police.

At least 16 rioters were arrested for throwing stones and attacking police officers.

At the end of a situation assessment on Monday morning, led by Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman, the Commissioner decided to ban Jewish visits to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day.

The police initially said it would keep the Temple Mount open for Jewish visitors, but the Muslim violence persuaded them otherwise. The decision was condemned by politicians, leaders and several organizations as a retreat in the face of Muslim terrorism.

Thousands of police and Border Police fighters have been deployed since the early hours of Monday morning throughout Jerusalem and the Old City to secure the events and maintain the safety and security of the public.

It is yet unclear if the police well authorize the traditional Flag March in Jerusalem.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.