Israeli officer punches Muslim worshiper in the face as clashes continue near Temple Mount


Israeli officer punches Muslim worshiper in the face as clashes continue near Temple Mount (VIDEO)
Israeli police used stun grenades to disperse a crowd of Palestinian protesters who clashed with authorities for the fourth day running following the introduction of new security measures at Jerusalem’s sacred Temple Mount or Noble Sanctuary as referred to by Muslims.

Clashes erupted Wednesday shortly after the afternoon prayers near the Lions Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem, where up 200 Muslim worshippers gathered to pray.

Following the prayers, a few worshipers started shouting against the recent security upgrades at the site, holy to both Muslims and Jews.

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רצף התמונות שהגיעו לידינו לפני שהגיעו לעכב את הפלסטיני שחטף אגרוף משוטר משמר הגבול.

After being warned by police to leave the area, a small group refused. The authorities began arresting one of the worshipers for “disturbing the peace” which led the larger crowd to start throwing water bottles at police officers.

To quell the steadily growing discontent, police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd, the Times of Israel reported. An online video also showed a police officer punching an apparently peaceful worshiper in the face.

Clashes around the compound have been ongoing following the introduction of metal detectors along the perimeter of the holy site Sunday. Tel Aviv argues that the security upgrades will prevent weapons from being brought to the Temple Mount as referred to by Jews.

The new measures were initiated after three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen outside the complex Friday. While the attackers were taken out by security forces, authorities shut down the compound, reopening the site to Muslims Sunday and to non-Muslims Monday.

The introduction of metal detectors has angered the Muslim religious authorities. Most, if not all, worshippers have refused to be subjected to the security checks, and instead, prefer to pray outside the compound.

READ MORE: Palestinians protest against Israeli security measures outside Temple Mount

The Palestinian Fatah movement called for a “Day of Rage” Wednesday over the security measures. This led to a number of clashes.

Police were pelted with rocks in the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Security forces arrested at least one activist who threw a Molotov cocktail at police, the Times of Israel reported.

Similar scuffles played out at the Qalandiya checkpoint in East Jerusalem, where police had to use “riot-dispersal measures”to quell the angry crowd.

Over in Bethlehem, near the Tomb of Rachel, authorities also dispersed dozens of protesters who threw rocks at police. Two rioters were arrested, according to the authorities.

No injuries have been reported during the Day of Rage clashes.

READ MORE: Police close off Temple Mount to Jews over rules violation amid tensions with Palestinians

Earlier Wednesday, Jerusalem District Police Commander Major-General Yoram Halevy ordered that the sacred be closed to Jewish worshipers and visitors Wednesday morning.

The order came after a group of Jewish visitors breached the rules of conduct by bringing sacred books onto the site and trying to pray there.

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‘Inexplicable’: PM demands answers over killing of Aussie woman by US police officer

'Inexplicable': PM demands answers over killing of Aussie woman by US police officer
Australia’s Prime Minister has called the fatal shooting of an Australian woman, Justine Ruszczyk, 40, also known as Justine Damond an “inexplicable” killing and said his government is demanding answers.

“How can a woman out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from the police be shot like that?” Malcolm Turnbull rhetorically asked as he spoke on Australian Channel Nine’s Today Show, adding, that his government is “seeking answers for this.”

He denounced the shooting as a “shocking” and “inexplicable” killing and said “something went clearly tragically wrong.”

“Yes, we are demanding answers on behalf of her family and our hearts go out to her family and all of her friends and loved ones,” he added.

Earlier Wednesday, some 300 people gathered for a silent vigil on Freshwater Beach, Sydney, the city where Ruszczyk was born, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

Ruszczyk’s fiancé, US businessman Don Damond, said he is also “desperate for answers.”

“Sadly, her family and I have been provided with almost no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived,” he said as cited by ABC.

The fatal shooting occurred in South Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ruszczyk was shot and killed in the alley behind her house Saturday evening after she called police to report a possible assault.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting as Mohamed Noor and Matthew Harrity.

Harrity was driving, while Noor, who was in the passenger seat, was the officer who shot and killed Ruszczyk.

He killing struck a chord in Australia and was the subject of numerous TV reports and newspaper articles recounting the tragically high number of people killed by American police.

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