A group of protesters reportedly screamed “let the people of Israel enter the gates and kill Arabs” during a heated demonstration on Saturday night in Jerusalem after violence erupted ahead of a Jewish holiday.
Youths involved in the demonstration, which started at Zion Square, allegedly massed around Damascus Gate and demanded an Israeli police barricade allow them through to the Old Town and Muslim district.
"Let the people of Israel enter the gates and kill Arabs," Haaretz reported one of the people shouted at officers during the stand-off.
The newspaper claims the “gangs of youths ran amok looking for Arab victims,” massing around Zion Square where they confronted a dialogue group, including a Palestinian woman.
A blogger who took part in the peaceful meeting described the ugly mood of the crowd in the square. “People were chanting racist slogans,” Shayna Abramson wrote in a piece published on the Times of Israel.
She added members of the crowd verbally insulted her because she chose to sit with an Arab Israeli woman, during the event that commemorated the two recent Israeli deaths.
It was the latest manifestation of anger following a spike of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, which has prompted Israeli authorities to take the unprecedented decision to bar Palestinians from entering Jerusalem’s Old City.
Only Palestinians who live, work or study there, as well as Israelis and tourists can enter the district as of Sunday.
Officials hope the ban will prevent any further escalation of violence, after the death of several Israeli citizens by Palestinians. Meanwhile, the Red Crescent claims more than 400 Palestinians have been injured in clashes and protests in the past two days.
The ban was implemented as an 18-year-old Palestinian youth from was killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, on Monday.
Additional reporting by Press AssociationReuse content