Palestinians in Hebron burn an Israeli flag while clashing with IDF troops.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jewish-Arab tensions continue to fester in Jerusalem on Friday as four police officers were wounded by Palestinian rioters who hurled Molotov cocktails and fired gunshots.
The incident took place near the southeastern neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv, which has become a flash point of sorts given its proximity to the nearby Palestinian village of Jabel Mukaber.
Paramedics and Magen David Adom rescue services treated the four security agents, including a 25-year-old Border Police officer who is listed in moderate-to-serious condition after sustaining wounds to lower extremities.
The officer was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for further treatment.
Another Israeli security officer was treated for wounds to his hand, while the other two suffered light burns.
Jerusalem police said that Palestinians in the area set tires and garbage cans on fire while blocking roadways. When the officers tried to re-open the artery to allow for traffic to flow freely, they were attacked by firebombs.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat pledged on Friday that Palestinians rioting in the capital "will pay a dear price" for their actions.
The mayor spoke to the Israeli press from the entrance to Jabel Mukaber.
"The message I have to those causing the disorder is that they are endangering their own lives," the mayor said. "We will prosecute them, and they will pay dearly."
Barkat called on "Arab community leaders" in east Jerusalem, including community councilors, mukhtars, and others "to take responsibility for their youngsters and restore quiet to Jerusalem."
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee authorized the IDF to call up extra Border Patrol reservists in response to the escalation in Jerusalem, on Friday.
“Border Patrol fighters have a rich and successful history of dealing with hostile and violent activity,” Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) said. “Stationing Border Patrol troops in the capital will help bring back order quickly.”
The precautionary security ramp-up comes after Palestinian calls for a “day of rage” in Jerusalem following Friday prayers.
Police have preemptively deployed some 800 extra officers to patrol the Old City and Arab neighborhoods throughout the capital, and will bar Muslim men under the age of 40 from ascending the Temple Mount.
The call for violence follows several days of rioting on the Temple Mount after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon banned the Islamist extremist groups Murabitun and Murabatat from the compound for their constant intimidation of and violence against Jewish visitors.
Following Ya’alon’s order, the PLO Executive Committee held an emergency meeting in Ramallah and called for “confronting Israeli terror schemes” against Islamic holy sites, while Hamas said that the government’s move was tantamount to a “declaration of war.”