Israel police scuffle with Palestinians ahead of Israeli far-right march risking reigniting tensions

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Palestinian protesters scuffled with Israeli police in Jerusalem on as thousands of Israeli far-right nationalists prepared to hold a flag-waving procession through East Jerusalem that risked reigniting tensions with Palestinians.

Before the marchers arrived at Damascus Gate, thousands of Palestinians congregated nearby and at least 17 were injured in clashes with Israeli police firing stun grenades, the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said.

Damascus Gate is the main entry point into the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's walled Old City, home to shrines sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity and a sensitive flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last month, Israeli-Palestinian confrontations in contested Jerusalem helped trigger 11 days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group.

On Tuesday, Israeli police in riot gear cordoned off areas leading to the walled Old City's flashpoint Damascus Gate, clearing the area of Palestinians.

Dancing and singing "the people of Israel live" the crowd of mostly religious Jews, carrying blue and white Israeli flags, then filled the plaza in front of the gate, usually a popular social gathering spot for Palestinians.

Police were expected to prevent marchers from going through Damascus Gate. They were to take a peripheral route instead, to Judaism's sacred Western Wall.

Assailing the march as a "provocation", Palestinians called for "Day of Rage" protests in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, with memories still fresh of confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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