The two soldiers at the Beit Hanina light rail station looked suspiciously at our press passes. They waved over a policeman holding a giant binder. “Are you Jewish? You are not permitted to enter,” he explained authoritatively, only to reverse his decision a few minutes later upon receiving guidance from superiors. It was Sunday, July 6, the fourth night of serious rioting in Shuafat, and police had cordoned off the neighborhood, checking cars and IDs of those entering either from French hill along the Shuafat Road or from the direction of Ramallah and Pisgat Ze’ev.

The disturbances began on July 2 when Palestinians in Shuafat awoke to rumors that 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir had been kidnapped and murdered by Jewish “settlers,” as most residents described the perpetrators.

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