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Israeli forces arrest 16 Palestinians in West Bank
Last Updated: 2018-05-14 01:28 | Xinhua
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Israeli forces have arrested 16 Palestinians in the West Bank for alleged involvement in "terrorism" and "riots" against Israel, a military spokesperson said Sunday in a statement.

"Overnight, Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, and Border Police arrested 16 suspects," the spokesperson said, adding that the suspects were taken for questioning.

The arrests came amidst spiraling tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, ahead of Israel's "Jerusalem Day," when Israel marks the annexation of East Jerusalem, with a flag parade that marches from the west side of the city to the east side.

Also on Sunday, in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem's Old City, clashes broke out between Israelis and Palestinian worshipers. The clashes started after the Israelis chanted nationalist songs and started to pray there, breaking the long-held status-quo that allow Israelis to visit the holy site but not to pray there.

Jews know the site as the Temple Mount. It is the holiest site for practicing Jews.

The Jerusalem police released a statement saying that "during a visit to the Temple Mount, several Jewish visitors violated the rules of visitations, provoking a provocation, after which they were taken out of the compound for identification and clarification of the circumstances."

Tensions were high in Jerusalem also due to the scheduled relocation of the U.S. embassy to the city on Monday.

The controversial move follows U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Palestinians and many countries condemned the move.

Palestinian officials and activists in the West Bank called on for mass rallies to protest the relocation, while thousands of Israeli police were deployed across Jerusalem to enable the opening ceremony to be held as planned.

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