Jerusalem left-wing protest_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
scuffled with police during a demonstration on Friday to show solidarity
with Palestinians against the newly dedicated Jewish enclave Ma'ale Hazeitim in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. Army Radio reported
that two people were arrested as the protesters blocked the enclave's
Several of the activists from Friday's protest were from the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity group, Israeli media said.
Erekat condemns new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem
demonstration began in Sheikh Jarrah during a weekly rally against
Jewish settlement in the east Jerusalem neighborhood which is already
populated by Arabs.
At another section of the neighborhood, residents reportedly pelted police officers with stones. There were no injuries.
On Wednesday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat,
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Education
Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan
attended the dedication ceremony of the second stage of the Ma’ale
Hazeitim neighborhood on Wednesday night, which celebrated 60 new
apartments in the Jewish compound.
The issue of new Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem has been a sensitive issue between the Palestinian leadership and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government, with the Palestinian Authority saying that continued construction in Jerusalem threatens the peace process.
The Palestinian Authority condemned Wednesday's dedication. Fatah's chief negotiator Sa'eb Erekat said "This settlement is not only another
obstacle to returning to negotiations, but it also raises tensions,
institutionalizes discrimination, and brings those with extremist
beliefs in close proximity to Palestinian residential areas."
Ma’ale Hazeitim is one the largest Jewish complexes in Arab
neighborhoods, with 110 units. The 50 units in the first stage of
apartments were finished nine years ago.
The new apartments are selling
for between NIS 1.6 million and NIS 7m. for the two-floor penthouses.
Melanie Lidman and Reuters contributed to this report.