Palestinians and Israelis: Clashes since 2015

 | Updated: May 14, 2021, 10:07 AM IST

Here is a look back at the main flare-ups of violence between Israelis and Palestinians since 2015, following days of escalating tensions sparked by unrest in Jerusalem.


Palestinians and Israelis: Clashes since 2015

More than a year after the end of the last full-scale conflict, clashes erupt between Israeli police and Palestinians in September 2015 at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City.

Unrest continues for days, spreading across Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. 

In October, a settler couple is killed when Palestinians fire on their vehicle.

The same month, seven young Palestinians are killed by Israeli fire at the Gaza border; an Israeli retaliatory raid on Gaza kills a pregnant woman and her daughter.

Between October 2015 and December 2016, the unrest claims the lives of 240 Palestinians -- most of them attackers -- and 36 Israelis.


Palestinians and Israelis: Clashes since 2015

Jerusalem, bitterly disputed between Israelis and Palestinians who both claim it as their capital, is the scene of frequent attacks throughout 2017.

In July, three Arab Israelis shoot dead two Israeli police officers in Jerusalem's Old City before being shot themselves in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound -- a holy place for both Muslims and Jews.

Israeli authorities, saying weapons were hidden inside the compound, install metal detectors and impose stringent security measures, sparking protests and deadly clashes. Israel lifts all measures days later.

In December, then US president Donald Trump sparks Palestinian outrage when he recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.


Palestinians and Israelis: Clashes since 2015

Tensions soar from March 2018 when Palestinians launch a "Great March of Return" protest to demand the right to return to homes inside Israel from which they fled or were expelled during the Jewish state's creation.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians converge along the barrier that separates Gaza from Israel, some throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Israeli snipers respond with live fire in what become regular protests. 

In May, on the day the US embassy is officially transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Israeli army kills some 60 Palestinians during a protest at the barrier.

The same month a year later, four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, and are killed in a fresh bout of violence when Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters in Gaza fire hundreds of rockets at Israel, which retaliates with tank and air strikes. 

From March 2018 to the end of 2019, Israeli fire kills at least 350 Palestinians. Eight Israelis are also killed.


Palestinians and Israelis: Clashes since 2015

After clashes and heightened tensions in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem in April 2021, bloody violence marks early May, sparked by a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over Arab homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Major clashes break out on May 7 as Muslims pack the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to pray on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Palestinians hurl stones, bottles and fireworks at police who fire rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades.

More than 700 Palestinians are wounded in clashes with Israeli police at the compound and in other parts of east Jerusalem on Friday and in the following days.

The crisis escalates on May 10 when militants in Gaza fire more than 200 rockets towards Israel. The Jewish state responds with 130 strikes by fighter jets and attack helicopters on "military targets" in the Hamas-run enclave.

The hostilities have killed dozens since then, most of them Palestinians, and Israel says it has been the target of more than 1,000 rocket attacks.



Rockets are launched by Palestinian militants into Israel, in Gaza

Weeks of violent clashes in East Jerusalem have ignited the heaviest fighting in years between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

At the core of the violence that has left dozens dead are tensions between Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem, which contains sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

As both sides appear to be digging in for more prolonged fighting, here are some of the factors that triggered the escalation.