Hundreds of Jewish supremacists chant 'Death to Arabs' as tensions boil over in Jerusalem clashes

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People run from tear gas canisters as members of Israeli security forces deploy amid clashes with Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem, on April 22, 2021. Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images
  • A groupd of far-right Jewish extremists clashed with Arab crowds in Jerusalem Thursday night.

  • Members of the supremacist group, Lehava, chanted "death to Arabs" as they marched to the Old City.

  • Police were able to separate the two crowds, but The Jerusalem Post still reported incidents of violence and arrests.

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Planned protests among far-right Jewish extremists and Arab crowds escalated in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday night and early Friday morning amid increasing tensions in the city.

The head of the Jewish supremacist group Lehava, announced Wednesday that its activists would march from Zion Square to Damascus Gate on Thursday in protest of recent violence toward Jews, including assaults that have been filmed and uploaded to TikTok, according to The Times of Israel.

Members of the group, which opposes the assimilation and coexistence of Jews and non-Jews, organized on the messaging app WhatsApp and planned to bring weapons, the outlet said. A report on the Mynet Jerusalem news site said Lehava members were told to attack as many Arabs as possible, according to The Times of Israel.

In addition to a rise in anti-Jewish violence, increasing attacks on Arabs have been reported in the city, including Jewish youth throwing rocks at vehicles while chanting "death to Arabs."

As Israeli police deployed Thursday night, attempting to keep Lehava demonstrators away from crowds of counter-protesters who had gathered at Damascus Gate, hundreds of Jewish extremists chanted "death to Arabs.," according to Haaretz.

Authorities were also working to prevent Lehava members from clashing with Israelis who came to protest the march, the outlet reported.

The Jerusalem Post reported that police had successfully diverted Lehava protesters and Arab crowds in different directions of the city, after a brief meeting between the two at Damascus Gate that resulted in incidents of dumpster fires, bottle-throwing, and rock-throwing.

According to the outlet, Arab youth lit fireworks near Damascus Gate, calling out "Allahu Akhbar," while Lehava members carried signs that read "Death to terrorists" and chanted "Death to Arabs" and "Revenge."

Officers reportedly used stun grenades to break up the violence and continued performing security checks in the area throughout the night.

Haaretz reported a variety of injuries and arrests, including a Palestinian woman who was reportedly maced in the face by a Jewish man and the arrest of four Palestinians accused of attacking a passerby.

The Palestinian Red Crescent, a humanitarian organization, has reported 25 injured so far, according to Haaretz.

The violence comes amid nightly clashes and fighting between Palestinians and Israelis during Ramadan in the city, Reuters reported. Palestinians have reportedly previously clashed with authorities over a dispute regarding evening gatherings at Damascus Gate following the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month.

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