Palestinians and Israeli police clash at Jerusalem holy site

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The compound is situated in a part of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. (AFP)
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The area is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AFP)
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Palestinian protesters faced off with police in the packed compound outside Islam’s third-holiest site. (AFP)
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The compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AFP)
Updated 11 August 2019

Palestinians and Israeli police clash at Jerusalem holy site

  • A Palestinian ambulance service said that at least 14 Palestinians were taken to hospitals for treatment
  • Palestinians chanted “With our soul and blood we will redeem you, Aqsa”

JERUSALEM: Israeli police fired sound grenades to disperse Palestinians during confrontations on Sunday outside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque where tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers gathered for the Eid Al-Adha holiday, witnesses said.
A Palestinian ambulance service said that at least 14 Palestinians were taken to hospitals for treatment. Israel’s Kan public radio said four police officers were injured.
Facing off with police in the packed compound outside Islam’s third-holiest site, Palestinians chanted “With our soul and blood we will redeem you, Aqsa.”
Scuffles ensued and the crowd fled as the sound grenades exploded and smoke wafted through the compound, witnesses said.
In a statement, police said they had deployed forces at the site in anticipation of disturbances and “dispersed rioters.”
Revered by Jews as Temple Mount, the site of two biblical Jewish temples, and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, the area is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Tensions had mounted at the start of Eid Al-Adha as the holiday overlapped this year with Tisha B’Av, a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the two temples.
In a bid to avoid friction at the site, police barred the entry of non-Muslim visitors, including Jews who intended to make a Tisha B’Av pilgrimage, before the clashes erupted.
The compound is situated in a part of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that has not won international recognition.


Young Libyans chose danger at sea over peril at home

Updated 18 min 1 sec ago

Young Libyans chose danger at sea over peril at home

For three young Libyans plucked from a deflating dingy in the Mediterranean, the perils of trying to cross the sea were still preferable to what they had left behind in their war-torn home.
Salah, Khalil and Ibrahim, aged between 19 and 22, sat in a corner of the Ocean Viking vessel operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders as it waited for permission to dock at a port.
They sat apart from other migrants from Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Senegal and the Ivory Coast who have fled torture and abuse in Libya where most of them had gone to seek work.
“I had no idea how dangerous the sea could be,” says Khalil, 20.
“But Libya is collapsing — you cannot live there,” he adds, pulling an imaginary trigger.


Before he fled Libya, Khalil was a taxi driver.
While driving the route from Sabha, his hometown in the center to the eastern city of Benghazi, he was stopped by militia loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a strongman who holds sway in the region.
He said he was thrown into prison where he languished for three months alongside hundreds of others and was beaten daily, pointing to a scar in the corner of his mouth.
He later made a break for freedom with about 15 fellow prisoners, running the gauntlet of their jailers who fired on them as they fled.
“People were shot around me but I didn’t stop,’ he said. “I was hit too.”
Luca, the ship’s doctor who removed the bullets embedded in Khalil’s body, says such wounds are nothing new among those fleeing from conflict areas.
With his taxi taken from him, Khalil returned to his family. “I just wanted to live a normal life,” he said.
But a month later fighting broke out in his town and his mother told him to flee.
“She had no idea of how dangerous the crossing could be,” Khalil says. “Neither did I. I was happy to try the sea.”
But by the time he was rescued by Doctors without Borders on August 12, the blue rubber dingy he was sharing with 104 others was on the verge of sinking.


Nineteen-year-old Salah joined the forces of the Government of National Accord of Fayez-al-Sarraj. But he soon realized that he was not cut out for war.
“If I had stayed, I would have been killed — either by Sarraj’s men for fleeing, or by Haftar’s men for fighting for Sarraj,” he said.
He got a number from a Sudanese, and left the same day — with just time for one last selfie with his family.
Ibrahim’s reason for fleeing was the color of his skin.
“My father was black — he is dead. My uncle died in the fighting. My school was bombed. My mother said to me ‘Libya is not a country for you’.”
“My Sudanese friends were like a family to me. One from Darfur was killed right in front of me as we were on our way to play football,” he said.
“I didn’t want to fight. I was terrified on that blue boat, but Libya is more dangerous than our sunken vessel.”