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Photo by: Courtesy of Jerusalem Fire and Rescue
1 dead, 6 apartments burned in J'lem clash of clans
By MELANIE LIDMAN
01/01/2013
22-year-old man dies in hospital after being stabbed in a conflict between two family clans; six apartments, cars burned in fire.
 
A clash between two family clans (hamulot) in the northeast Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina left one man dead and led to a massive fire that burned six apartments on Tuesday.

After the fighting broke out early Tuesday morning, a 22-year-old man was stabbed and evacuated to Hadassah University Medical Center on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus in critical condition.

He later died in the operating room.

The warring Arab families threw rocks at police officers who tried to respond at the scene, though they did not injure anyone else, according to Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby. Police arrested 14 people who were involved in the fight over the course of the day, and found an ax and two knives after searching a house and two cars belonging to the families.

Around 8:15 a.m., firefighters tried to respond to two large fires in Beit Hanina, which police believe were connected to the predawn fight, as one of the apartments affected belonged to the suspect in the stabbing.

However, due to rock throwing and rioting against the police, the firefighters were forced to wait outside the neighborhood until police secured the area.

Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Asaf Abras said heavy smoke was visible from Highway 443. Police and Border Police used force to disperse the families fighting against each other and security forces. After an hour, police escorted the firefighters to the site of the fires. Six apartments in two separate buildings, a car and a caravan were consumed by fire when they arrived.

Abras said the arson attacks were most likely planned in advance, as the arsonists hid gas canisters around the building in order to inflict maximum damage as well as injure firefighters.

Firefighters were able to gain control the blaze within an hour.
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