Hundreds Hurt in Clashes at Aqsa Mosque as Tension Rises in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Hundreds were injured as clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters broke out Monday morning at the Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews, after a week of rising tension in the city. Police fired rubber-tipped bullets and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinians who had stockpiled stones at the site in expectation of a standoff with Jewish far-right groups.

By midmorning, more than 50 people had been transferred to the hospital, according to a representative of the Palestinian Red Crescent. One person was hit in the head by a bullet and was in a critical condition, the medical aid group said. Nine police officers were injured, a police spokesman said.

Videos posted on Twitter showed chaos both outside and inside the mosque, where some worshipers could be seen sheltering from explosions while others threw stones and set off fireworks. In another clip, police officers were seen striking a man being detained in part of the mosque compound.

Another video released by the police showed young men throwing stones from the perimeter of the mosque compound onto the land below. A separate clip, taken by a surveillance camera, appeared to show a Jewish man driving into a passer-by after stones hit his car.

Jerusalem Day is always fraught. But the atmosphere was especially febrile on Monday because the confrontations followed weeks of escalating tensions in the city, where restrictions on Palestinian access to the Old City during the holy month of Ramadan, a far-right march through the city center in April, and street assaults by both Jews and Arabs have all contributed to a feverish atmosphere.

the looming expulsion of several Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. For Palestinians and their advocates, the case has become a stand-in for the wider campaign to force out Palestinians from parts of East Jerusalem and for their past displacement in the occupied territories and within Israel.

Tensions escalated again Friday night, as the police fired rubber-tipped bullets and stun grenades and Palestinians threw stones following prayers at the Aqsa compound. Video showed some grenades landing inside the mosque.

Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel overnight Sunday, after sending incendiary balloons into Israeli farmland for the past several days. Israel has returned fire, barred fishermen from the territory from accessing the sea and shut a key crossing between Gaza and Israel — but avoided a major escalation.

was postponed on Sunday, in part to diffuse these rising tensions. The Israeli police also made a last-minute decision Monday morning to block Jews from accessing the Aqsa compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The Palestinian Authority recently canceled what would have been the first Palestinian elections in 15 years.

And after a fourth Israeli election in just two years, Israeli opposition parties are locked in negotiations to form a coalition government and replace Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s prime minister. Mr. Netanyahu is serving in a caretaker capacity as he stands trial on corruption charges.

Myra Noveck contributed reporting from Jerusalem and Iyad Abuheweila from Gaza City.

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Evictions in Jerusalem Become Focus of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Jewish settlers and right-wing Israeli activists are also taking a stand there. They say that the Palestinian residents are squatters, and that the district, which is built beside the tomb of a Jewish high priest from antiquity, was Jewish until 1948.

“I would ask you,” said Aryeh King, a settler leader and deputy mayor of Jerusalem, “if you are the owner of the property and somebody is squatting on your property, wouldn’t you have the right to take him out from your property?”

Hundreds of East Jerusalem residents have gathered in Sheikh Jarrah each night for the past week to argue the opposite. Their vigils often begin with outdoor iftar meals, marking the end of the daily Ramadan fast, followed by protests and dancing, culminating in clashes with the police. The police have charged them on horseback, sprayed them with skunk water and thrown stun grenades.

Cars have been burned, guns drawn, scores arrested. Last month, a Jewish member of Parliament from a predominantly Arab party was beaten by the police. On Thursday night, a far-right lawmaker, Itamar Ben Gvir, set up a makeshift office opposite a home listed for eviction, setting off a brawl between protesters and settlers.

The United Nations and the European Union have expressed alarm.

“We’re deeply concerned about the heightened tensions in Jerusalem,” the State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said Friday, calling for calm “to de-escalate tensions and avoid violent confrontation.”

The Israeli government has tried to play down the conflict, describing the case as a private matter between the Arab families who moved to the neighborhood in the 1950s, and the settler groups whom Israeli courts have ruled are the legal owners of the families’ homes.

In a statement on Friday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian terrorists were “presenting a real-estate dispute between private parties as a nationalistic cause in order to incite violence in Jerusalem.”

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Colombia, Strained by Pandemic and Economic Hardship, Explodes in Protest

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A teenager shot to death after kicking a police officer. A young man bleeding out on the street as protesters shout for help. Police firing on unarmed demonstrators. Helicopters swarming overhead, tanks rolling through neighborhoods, explosions echoing in the streets. A mother crying for her son.

“We are destroyed,” said Milena Meneses, 39, whose only son Santiago, 19, was killed in a protest over the weekend.

Colombians demonstrating over the past week against the poverty and inequality that have worsened the lives of millions since the Covid-19 pandemic began have been met with a powerful crackdown by their government, which has responded to the protests with the same militarized police force it often uses against rebel fighters and organized crime.

This explosion of frustration in Colombia, experts say, could presage unrest across Latin America, where several countries face the same combustible mix of an unrelenting pandemic, growing hardship and plummeting government revenue.

Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua and elsewhere.

Each country’s protest was different. But in all of them, people voiced their grievances over limited opportunity, widespread corruption and officials who appeared to be working against them.

Then came the pandemic. Latin America was one of the regions hardest hit by the virus in 2020, with cemeteries filling past capacity, the sick dying while waiting for care in hospital hallways, and family members spending the night in lines to buy medical oxygen in an attempt to keep loved ones alive.

The region’s economies shrank by an average of 7 percent. In many places, unemployment, particularly among the young, spiked.

significant popularity since the beginning of the pandemic, according to polling from the firm Invamer. And analysts say he is at his weakest point since he came to office in 2018.

The police and military response has made a national conversation built around compromise extremely difficult, said Sandra Borda, a political analyst and columnist for the newspaper El Tiempo.

a video, a witness can be heard shouting.

“Is he OK?” the witness says. “Can he breathe? Breathe! Breathe! Breathe!”

A passing deliveryman loaded Mr. Murillo onto his motorbike and rushed him to a clinic. There, his mother’s anguished cries were captured on tape. “Son, take me with you! Son, I want to be with you!”

Doctors could not revive him, and residents of Ibagué held a protest vigil in his name the next day.

“I asked them to protest civilly,” said his mother, “in peace.”

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The Embers of a Long-Smoldering Revolution Are Stoked in France

PARIS — On a recent chilly morning, a hundred people flocked to a tiny square near the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, at the top of the hill in Montmartre. They were not the usual tourists drawn by the breathtaking panoramic views over Paris, but left-wing demonstrators celebrating the 150th anniversary of a revolution that started right where they stood.

“We’re here, we’re here!” a guitarist sang, playing a tune popularized by the Yellow Vest protesters who have in recent years faced off against the government of President Emmanuel Macron, as red flags and banners fluttered around him.

Mr. Macron, the guitarist sang, was equivalent to his 19th-century predecessor, Patrice de Mac Mahon, who crushed the revolution they had come to commemorate, the Paris Commune of 1871 — a cataclysm that still consumes many on the French far left.

“All the just causes of today were initiated by the Commune, by our forefathers,” said Frédéric Jamet, 61, who proudly described himself as a “Yellow Vest veteran.” Around him were other protesters wearing yellow vests, communist militants wrapped in red scarves and a handful of amused students and curious retirees.

series of social movements in recent years, the story of the Paris Commune has made a comeback, with protesters making connections between today’s struggles and those of a century and a half ago. “The Commune” has inspired calls for greater political representation for people across France, been used to highlight contemporary economic inequalities and even emerged as a reference for some feminist activists.

Dozens of commemorations of the revolution’s 150th anniversary have been organized since mid-March — they will continue until late May — revealing the old beating heart of revolutionary Paris, with debates raging in newspaper columns and at City Hall over the legacy of an event marked by violence.

bloody week,” while Commune fighters executed dozens of hostages and set fire to several historic buildings.

But it is perhaps the tragic and ephemeral nature of the Commune that has most fueled the fascination with this revolution today, its existence too brief to have led to disillusionment.

Mr. Deluermoz said that because the Commune involved so many different elements of revolutionary movements, it had fueled a wide variety of analyses.

Nuit Debout protests in 2016, a French version of the Occupy movement, renamed the Place de la République in Paris as the Place de la Commune. Yellow Vest protesters in 2018 chanted slogans like “1871 reasons to believe.”

“The problem is that we are experiencing things, injustices again, that’s what’s awakening the spirit of the Commune,” said Sophie Cloarec, pointing to the new economic insecurity and exploitation engendered by the gig economy.

Ms. Cloarec, on a recent Saturday afternoon, was participating in a feminist march honoring women who played a major role in the 1871 revolution. Around her, groups of women were papering walls with posters of famous female Commune fighters, such as the teacher Louise Michel or Victorine Brocher, who kept a canteen during the siege of Paris.

It was the latest sign of the revolution’s enduring resonance, as feminist groups are emerging as a powerful force in France against the backdrop of a delayed #MeToo movement.

Mathilde Larrère, a historian of 19th-century French revolutions, said the Commune “was a feminist movement because women embraced it” to obtain new rights like better access to education and pensions for unmarried widows.

Jean-Pierre Theurier, a member of the Association of the Friends of the Commune, said he had been surprised by the renewed public interest in the revolution. He said more people were attending the walking tours he organizes in the Père Lachaise cemetery, where a bloody battle took place between the graves and where some 150 Commune fighters were executed; bullet holes are still visible on some walls.

Paris City Hall in February, when conservative city councilors accused the left-wing majority of exploiting the anniversary to political ends while ignoring the Commune’s own acts of violence and destruction. Historians and politicians then clashed over the need to commemorate the event, and the French press took sides.

But perhaps the fiercest attack came from the least expected side: the left.

On a chilly March morning, City Hall officials organized the first commemorative event, gathering about 50 Parisians at the foot of the Montmartre hill to carry life-size silhouettes of famous Commune fighters. Anger roared above them, in the tiny square near the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, where left-wing demonstrators had organized their own event, boycotting the official celebration.

“You Versaillais!” a man shouted to the crowd down the hill, using the name given to people living in Versailles, the city where the central government regrouped during the Commune, and the home to French kings until the French Revolution of 1789.

“Those down there, they’re the privileged few,” said Mr. Jamet, the Yellow Vest veteran.

Standing a few feet away, Catherine Krcmar, a 70-year-old seasoned leftist activist, smiled as she watched the protest around her. “Revolutionary Paris is not dead,” she said.

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Germany Looks Into Covid Deniers’ Links With Far Right

The German domestic intelligence agency is keeping close tabs on a group of coronavirus deniers, who, in their protests against restrictions and tendency to believe in conspiracy theories, have found common cause with far-right extremists.

Government officials said the movement’s close ties to extremist organizations, such as the “Reich citizens” — or “Reichsbürger,” as they are known in German, referring to a group that refuses to accept the legitimacy of the modern German state — were troubling. Many of the coronavirus deniers say they also believe in QAnon conspiracy theories, and protesters are frequently seen holding signs with anti-Semitic tropes. A number of journalists have been attacked while covering the demonstrations.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said in a statement, “Our basic democratic order, as well as state institutions such as parliaments and governments, have faced multiple attacks since the beginning of the measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.” Several regional intelligence agencies have already been observing participants in the movement, he added.

The group of deniers, which started as a fringe movement last spring, has grown into a coordinated effort that organizes mass demonstrations across Germany. The rallies occasionally turn aggressive, and many have ended in scuffles with law enforcement officers.

AfD, a German right-wing populist party, have allied themselves with protesters. The national intelligence agency’s formal observation of the deniers’ group is the first step in a procedure that could lead to it being declared anti-constitutional and ultimately banned.

A week ago, about 8,000 people in Berlin protested the passing of a law that gives the federal government power to implement tougher restrictions. Germany has seen a persistently high average number of new daily cases recently, averaging about 18,000 a day, according to a New York Times database, up from about 8,000 a day two months ago.

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Myanmar Coup Leader Arrives in Indonesia for Asean Summit

The army general who has ruled Myanmar since leading the overthrow of its civilian government arrived on Saturday in Indonesia for a meeting with leaders of other Southeast Asian nations, after some of them expressed concern about the army’s killing of hundreds of pro-democracy protesters.

It was the first time since the Feb. 1 coup that the army’s commander in chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, had ventured outside Myanmar. Critics feared that his presence with heads of state at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting would give him the appearance of legitimacy.

Myanmar politicians who have formed what they call a National Unity Government called on Interpol and the Indonesian police this week to arrest the general upon arrival in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, for crimes against humanity, including the ethnic cleansing campaign that drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country in 2017.

The National Unity Government, which asserts that it is the legitimate government of Myanmar, also urged the 10-nation regional association, known as Asean, to give it a seat at the summit meeting and refuse to meet with General Min Aung Hlaing until he halts the killing of civilians.

targeted sanctions on regime leaders and military-owned businesses, but diplomatic efforts to stop the killing have been unsuccessful. The United Nations Security Council, where China and Russia can be counted on to support the Myanmar regime, has taken no action.

Asean, which has a policy of noninterference in the affairs of member nations, issued a statement in March calling on “all parties to refrain from instigating further violence,” seemingly ignoring the one-sided nature of the killings.

Among those expected to attend Saturday’s summit were the leaders of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Brunei. The Philippines, Thailand and Laos were expected to send representatives.

The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have separately expressed concern about the coup, and Indonesia played a leading role in convening the meeting.

Some members of Asean, including Singapore and Thailand, have close business ties with Myanmar and its military, known as the Tatmadaw, which owns two of the country’s largest conglomerates.

Three Asean members, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, sent representatives to the Tatmadaw’s Armed Forces Day celebration on March 27. On that day, soldiers and the police killed at least 160 protesters in its largest single-day killing spree since the coup.

slaughter of thousands in its war on drugs and Vietnam’s practice of giving long prison sentences to dissidents.

Asean stood by in 2017 as the Tatmadaw waged a ruthless campaign of murder, rape and ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims, who fled in large numbers across the border into Bangladesh, which is not an Asean member. Nearly all the Rohingya refugees are still there, living in squalid, overcrowded camps.

As the Tatmadaw’s commander in chief, General Min Aung Hlaing oversaw the military operations against the Rohingya.

International human rights groups urged Asean not to meet with the general. Rather, they said, the group should impose sanctions on the junta’s leaders, press for the release of detainees and seek an end to the killings.

“Min Aung Hlaing, who faces international sanctions for his role in military atrocities and the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, should not be welcomed at an intergovernmental gathering to address a crisis he created,” said Brad Adams, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

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Israelis and Palestinians Clash Around Jerusalem’s Old City

JERUSALEM — Clashes between Israelis and Palestinians erupted overnight in Jerusalem as hundreds of supporters of an extremist Jewish supremacy group staged a march, chanting “Death to Arabs,” near the Old City.

The violence was the culmination of building tensions between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem and elsewhere over the past couple weeks. Palestinian media reported that 78 Palestinians were injured and 15 of them were treated in hospitals. About 20 Israeli police officers and at least 16 Israeli civilians were hurt as well.

More than 50 people were arrested in the melee, both in predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem and mostly Jewish West Jerusalem, according to the police. The city’s mayor, Moshe Lion, said he had asked the police to ban the extremist group’s demonstration but had been told that was impossible.

“There is no doubt that it was superfluous,” Mr. Lion told Kan, Israel’s public radio. “It did not add to the quiet that we need now.”

in a statement for “responsible voices” to urge an end to incitement and to restore calm in the city.

chanting “Allahu akbar,” or God is Great, and “Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem in their millions,” a Palestinian rallying cry.

Myra Noveck contributed reporting.

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