Israeli police on Monday arrested 33 Palestinians on suspicion of violently protesting, and state prosecutors filed indictments against an additional five suspects for alleged incitement to violence.
Police said among the arrests were seven minors, aged 13 to 17. All of the suspects are from neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.
Police also accused the Palestinians of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, setting off firecrackers and blocking roads, among other disturbances.
Meanwhile the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office filed indictments against five East Jerusalem residents for allegedly calling for acts of violence against civilians and Israeli authorities on Facebook.
A spokeswoman for Addameer, a Palestinian Human Rights organisation, criticised the arrests as “arbitrary.”
“We consider this as a collective punishment against Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem,” the spokeswoman said.
Over the past two weeks, multiple clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police took place in Jerusalem over Israeli security measures at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Four Palestinians died in the clashes.
On July 14, two police officers were killed by three Israeli Arabs near the sacred complex, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.
After the attack, Israel installed metal detectors and other security measures at an entrance to the mosque compound.
Palestinians boycotted the mosque, saying they would only return once Israel took down all the security measures.
Following a decision by the Israeli security cabinet, Israel removed the security measures, and tensions over the past few days have subsided as Muslims returned to the holy site.