Tensions rise in Jerusalem after Syrian missile strikes


JERUSALEM (AP)  Israeli fighter jets and artillery have struck targets in Syria. Tensions between Jews and Muslims peaked Sunday in a shaky temple in Jerusalem as religious ceremonies took place at the same time after the northeastern neighbor fired rare rockets.

Thousands of Jewish believers gathered at the city’s Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews to pray, for the blessing ceremony of the Passover priest. Within the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque, a walled promenade above the Western Wall, hundreds of Palestinians prayed as part of celebrations for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Hundreds of Jews also visited the Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday under heavy security, accompanied by whistles and religious chants by Palestinians protesting their presence.

Such tours by religious and nationalist Jews have increased in scope and frequency over the years, with many Palestinians fearing that Israel might one day plan to take over or divide the site. They are viewed with suspicion. Israeli officials say they have no intention of changing a longstanding agreement to allow Jews to visit Muslim-controlled places but not to worship there. is currently ruled by the most right-wing government in its history, with ultranationalists at the helm.
In the first salvo, missiles landed on the fields of the Golan Heights. Fragments from another destroyed missile fell on Jordanian territory near the Syrian border, the Jordanian military said. In the second, he had two rockets cross the border into Israel, one was intercepted and the second landed in an open area, according to the Israeli military. Israel responded with artillery fire on areas of Syria where rockets were fired. The military later said Israeli fighter jets hit Syrian army positions, including the Syrian 4th Division complex, radar and artillery bases.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the violence by phone with Israeli President Isaac Herzog late Saturday, telling Herzog that Muslims must not remain silent about “provocations and threats” against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. , said hostilities were spreading to Gaza and Lebanon. Do not escalate further.

Haniyah, who arrived in Lebanon last week just before rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel, was due to make a public appearance in Beirut on Friday. However, it was canceled due to security concerns after blows were exchanged between Lebanon and Israel. No group has officially claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, but Israel has accused Hamas of being behind it.

Late Saturday, a Syrian militant fired rockets at Israel and the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights with his two volleys. A Damascus-based Palestinian group loyal to the Syrian government has claimed responsibility for the first round of missiles, saying it was in retaliation for the al-Aqsa attack.

In addition to cross-border fighting, three people were killed in Israeli and Palestinian attacks over the weekend in the occupied West Bank.

The funeral of her two Anglo-Israeli sisters, Maia and Lina, who were killed in a shootout, was held Sunday at the cemetery of the Jewish settlement of Kfar Her Ezion in the occupied West Bank of the Jordan River. was scheduled. Italian tourist Alessandro Parini, 35, is a lawyer from Rome who had just arrived in the city a few hours earlier for a short Easter break with friends. He died in a suspected car accident on the coast of Tel Aviv on Friday.

More than 90 Palestinians have died in Israeli fires so far this year, according to an Associated Press tally, at least half of whom belonged to militant groups. Killed 19 people. All but one were civilians.