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Hamas, PA Criticize Yair Lapid’s Visit to Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority criticized Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to Israeli security forces at Damascus Gate, just outside of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday afternoon. The PA called the visit a “provocative incursion,” while Hamas said that the “storming” of the area in east Jerusalem is a “dangerous escalation and the occupation will be responsible for its consequences.”

Following the visit, Palestinian worshippers rioted in the area around Damascus Gate following prayers and the end of the daily fast for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The Muslim worshippers threw rocks and bottles and other objects at police officers for the second night in a row. Security forces responded with stun grenades and other measures; 10 rioters were arrested.

The police are operating in the area of Damascus Gate but have not set up barriers to prevent Muslim worshippers from gathering at the gate’s basin after Ramadan prayers as they did last year, which sparked tensions and led to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel as well as riots by Israeli Arabs.