Police in east Jerusalem on 'Nakba Day' 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The streets of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya were strewn with
rubble and smoldering trash on “Nakba Day” on Sunday.
Dozens of youth
darted between the buildings and used dumpsters for shields as they threw rocks
at police forces moving up and down the steep main street of the
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Thirty six people were arrested for throwing stones and
disturbing the peace across east Jerusalem, including nine in
Police said Nakba events in Jerusalem were “much quieter” than
they had expected, according to Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel
Ben-Ruby said that the large physical presence of security
forces deployed across the city as well as frequent arrests played a fundamental
part in deterring more intense violence.
There were scattered events of
stone-throwing and violence in the Shuafat refugee camp and A-Tur. Additionally,
roughly 400 left-wingers and Arabs protested in the neighborhood of Walaja on
Sunday afternoon and tried to block the road.
Ben-Ruby added that police
expect the situation to calm significantly in the coming days, and that security
forces will be constantly monitoring intelligence to decide whether to decrease
the number of patrols on the streets of east Jerusalem.
In Isawiya, the
acrid smell of tear gas hung in the air from early morning, with security forces
using tear gas, rubber bullets, and shock grenades to try and stop the
The stone-throwers in Isawiya, which is located in
northeast Jerusalem south of the Hebrew University, at times reached the rear
gate of Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus.
cocktails were thrown inside the rear gate of the hospital and exploded, but
there were no injuries and no damages.
At one point on Sunday afternoon,
police forces rescued a woman and her two children when a Molotov cocktail
thrown at the police forces missed and went into a ground floor apartment,
setting it ablaze.
The woman came out of the apartment in hysterics, and
policemen entered the building and were able to rescue the woman’s
three-year-old daughter and her months-old baby, all of whom were not
Security forces used a fire-extinguishing vehicle and succeeded
in putting out the blaze in the course of a few minutes.
open in the neighborhood despite the barrage of rocks and rubber bullets, and
residents hurried to the convenience store to buy necessities as the exchanges
between the youth and soldiers moved further down the street.
is open. No one is scared, no one is fleeing; we’re just trying to go about our
lives,” said a 46-year-old construction worker named Ofik as he left the store
with a pack of cigarettes. Like many residents, he said that this year’s
violence during Nakba Day was worse than any he could remember.
stronger than normal this year, much stronger because of so many things, the
atmosphere is suitable for things like this to happen because of everything that
happened in the other Arab countries,” said Amram, 54, who is
“We would like to tell Israel, ‘You’re dancing over our
wound.’” Near the main street, a spotless private clinic called the Baladna
Medical Complex was treating residents suffering from gas inhalation. The
clinic, which is associated with Clalit, treated 22 people for gas inhalation,
and six for injuries from rubber bullet on Sunday. The majority of the patients
came around 5 p.m., after the major stone-throwing had died down, said Dr. M., a
general practitioner at the clinic.
“This is different from all the other
years. There’s a change in all the Arab countries and we feel it,” said M., the
owner of the clinic.
“Milad Ayish [the 17-year-old Ras el-Amud resident
who died on Saturday from wounds he sustained while rioting on Friday in Silwan]
ignited the anger of the young people. Isawiya is inseparable from Jerusalem,
and what happens there affects us,” said M. “What do they want [the youth] to
do, throw flowers?” Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post
that on days such as Nakba
Day or during periods with riots, the most intense violence often moves from
neighborhood to neighborhood around the city and is difficult to
Friday and Saturday’s violence was concentrated in Silwan and
Ras al-Amud, where police significantly increased their presence on Sunday.