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Violence erupts at Old City flashpoint as far right’s Ben Gvir holds protest

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Clashes broke out Thursday afternoon between East Jerusalem protesters and Israel Police, as far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir marched to the flashpoint Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City. Ben Gvir waved an Israeli flag at the site, in what he said was a personal protest, after police banned him from parading through the Muslim Quarter to reach the Temple Mount.

At least five people were arrested, as hundreds of people were reported to take part in scuffles between Arabs and Ben Gvir’s Jewish supporters. One of those arrested reportedly snatched an Israeli flag from the hands of a Ben Gvir supporter.

Police used riot dispersal means, including flashbangs against protesters. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Last month, clashes on the Temple Mount and around the Damascus Gate spiraled into a major confrontation between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip. The fighting ended with a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

After Ben Gvir’s visit, and amid the rioting that followed, the Hamas military wing issued a statement saying that it was watching the developments closely.

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“The Al-Qassam Brigades and the leadership of the resistance are closely following the provocative and aggressive actions by the usurpers and their leaders in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the group said in a........

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