Over 20 Palestinians treated for tear gas, rubber bullets and wounds, Red Crescent says, reporting settlers threw stones at one ambulance and Israeli forces sprayed skunk water on another in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood.
Jewish settlers have attacked Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, a flashpoint in the recent escalation between Israel and Palestine.
Settlers threw chairs, rocks and fireworks outside residents homes, local journalists reported, with video circulating on social media of the attack in Sheikh Jarrah.
This was followed by Israeli police using force against Palestinians in the tense occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood where settler groups are trying to evict several Palestinian families.
The threatened evictions fueled protests in the run-up to Israel's last month assault on Gaza and pose a test for Israel's new governing coalition, which includes three pro-settler parties but is hoping to sideline the Palestinian issue to avoid internal divisions.
The Red Crescent emergency service said its crews treated 20 Palestinians, including 16 suffering from pepper spray and tear gas and others wounded by rubber-coated bullets. Two other people were wounded, including an elderly man who was hit in the head, it said.
Israeli police and border officials said they arrested four suspects in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. One woman was reportedly injured when she was hit in the back by a stone, police said.
The eruption of violence is the latest friction in Sheikh Jarrah, where weeks of unrest captured international attention ahead of the 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza.
The ceasefire took effect on May 21, but the long-running campaign by Jewish settlers to evict dozens of Palestinian families continues.
This video shows settlers throwing plastic chairs and rocks at Palestinians outside their homes in Sheikh Jarrah..Israeli forces arrive to the scene and start attacking the Palestinians.— لينة (@LinahAlsaafin) June 21, 2021
Systemic state sanctioned violence.pic.twitter.com/ef5KbeTYWO
Test for new coalition government
And so the cycle of tension endures, in a stark early test for Israel's new coalition government, which is just over a week old.
At the helm under a rotation agreement is Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing Yamina party. In two years, he'll be replaced by Yair Lapid, leader of centrist Yesh Atid.
And leading the opposition is Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, ousted from the premiership after holding the post for 12 years.
An intervention by Israel’s attorney general at the height of the unrest has put the most imminent evictions on hold. But evictions are expected to proceed in the coming months as international attention wanes, potentially igniting another round of bloodshed.
The settlers have been waging a decades-long campaign to evict the families from densely populated Palestinian neighbourhoods in the so-called Holy Basin just outside the walls of the Old City, in one of the most sensitive parts of east Jerusalem.