Jerusalem has been the center of conflict between Jews and Arabs for over a century, making it one of the most controversial cities in the world. Israel launched a recent war last month to block some Palestinian gatherings at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, which is now a time of religious fervor.
After those restrictions were relaxed, disagreements over plans to expel more Palestinians from East Jerusalem continued.
On Monday, hundreds of Palestinians were injured in clashes between police and stone-throwing protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets at a shrine. The police was also injured.
Why Jerusalem has always been there triggers the last waves of violence.
Capital of two
Israel considers Jerusalem its “united, eternal” capital. It traveled to the Old City, the Midst War of 1967, and east to the West Bank and Gaza to Jerusalem. As East Jerusalem serves as their capital, Palestinians seek those territories for their future positions. But Israel inadvertently linked the eastern part of the city with the rest of the world.
The fate of East Jerusalem was one of the biggest challenges to the peace process a decade ago.
On Monday, Israelis are expected to celebrate Jerusalem Day, a national holiday. Over the years, thousands of Israelis, especially religious extremists, have been marching on the old city, including the crowded Muslim Quarter, which is considered a Palestinian offensive.
In recent times, an occupied Israeli state has organized other events east of Jerusalem, resulting in widespread, violent clashes with Palestinians.
An Israeli policeman fired a gun at a Palestinian man next to a Jewish driver who was allegedly attacked by Palestinian protesters near the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday.
A holy mountain
On Monday, clashes occurred near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the old city. The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, situated on a high plateau and rock dome. Muslims called this complex a Nobel Sanctuary.
The Wall Plain was a very sacred place for Jews, which they called Temple Mount because it was the site of biblical temples. In 70 CE the Romans destroyed the second temple, leaving only the wall. Muslims were created after many centuries.
Nearby Jordan serves as the protector of the region, run by an Islamic gift called waqf. The site is open to visitors from time to time, but only Muslims are allowed to pray there. The West Wall is a holy place where Jews can pray.
In recent years, religious and secular Jewish groups disbanded by police have been visiting several campuses since 1967 to pray against the laws established by Israel, Jordan and Muslim religious leaders. Palestinians are insulted by the frequent visits and prayers of the Jews, and they often arise for bitterness or violence.
Some Israelites said that this place should be open to all servants. The Palestinians denied that Israel could occupy the land or divide it. Israeli officials say they have no intention of changing the situation.
Jews born east of Jerusalem are Israeli citizens, and Palestinians east of Jerusalem are given permanent residency if they stay out of the city for a long time. They can apply for citizenship, but most people do not do so because the process is long and uncertain and they do not see Israeli control.
Israel built Jewish communities east of Jerusalem, home to about 220,000 people. This greatly curtailed the development of Palestinian cities and posed the danger of thousands of homes collapsing and unauthorized houses collapsing.
New York-based Israeli rights group Ptelem and New York-based Human Rights Watch were among those who have recently accused racism in Israel, citing former discriminatory policies in Jerusalem. Israel has denied allegations that the inhabitants of Jerusalem are treated equally.
Riots erupted at the beginning of Ramadan when Israeli police set up barricades outside the old city of Damascus, a popular gathering place after the evening prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. They eventually lifted the blockade, but protests intensified as many Palestinian families in the eastern part of Jerusalem were expelled to Sheikh Zara.
Families are in deep legal crisis as Jewish settlers claim rights in densely populated Palestinian areas outside the Old City. The Israelis have described it as a private real estate dispute, but the status of the families has attracted international attention.
The conflict in Jerusalem, especially in al-Aqsa, spread extensively throughout the region.
The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, has called for a new indiscipline or insurgency by Israeli politicians to begin al-Aqsa’s 2000-year journey. The protesters began to gain support to end unplanned skirmishes in Israel.
Conflict took place in the West Bank and in Arab communities within Israel. A series of shootings in the West Bank last week also increased tension.
Jordan and other Arab countries with good relations with Israel condemned their involvement in the conflict, while Iran, averse to Israel, forced an attack on the Palestinians. It was condemned by the US and the European Union