Jerusalem has seen an uptick in Molotov cocktail attacks and rock-throwing incidents in recent weeks, as well as an escalation of tensions at the Temple Mount. The Jerusalem Post brings you the latest updates on the situation on the ground and political reactions to the violence.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Israeli Border Police officers arrested a suspected stone-thrower after he lobbed rocks at their position in the Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tor Monday afternoon. According to Israeli Security Forces, the suspect attempted to flee before police apprehended him. -JPOST.COM STAFF6:09 p.m.
Stone-throwers injured a six-year-old boy and a security guard in the Silwan Valley of Jerusalem Monday afternoon after lobbing rocks in their direction. -JPOST.COM STAFF4:00 p.m.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence agency announced Monday the arrest of several suspects who allegedly took part in firebombings and rock throwing attacks on Israeli targets in recent months.
In a joint Shin Bet, IDF, and Israel Police-Judea and Samaria District operation, security forces arrested four suspects from Hizme, northeast of Jerusalem, who allegedly took part in rock throwing and firebomb attacks on Israeli buses and cars.
The attacks included three incidents that resulted in injuries. On April 7, an Israeli bus near Hizme came under rock and Molotov cocktail assault, lightly injuring the driver in his shoulder and sending five passengers into a state of shock.
On June 21, a bus traveling on Route 437 towards Adam Square, near Hizme, was pelted with rocks, shattering glass and lightly injuring the bus driver.
Concrete blocks and firebombs were hurled at an Israeli bus traveling from Hizma to Anatot on July 26, causing the bus driver to lose consciousness from his wounds, and sending three passengers into shock. -YAAKOV LAPPIN 12:50 p.m.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan discussed the steps the government was taking to stop escalating violence in Jerusalem at a special Knesset meeting on the subject.
Erdan said that all steps would be taken to catch those throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, including using live-fire. "We don't have to wait for someone to be killed," he said. -LAHAV HARKOV12:24 p.m.
Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to change the rules of engagement and allow opening fire on those throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails in an attempt to deal with stone-throwing attacks in and around Jerusalem.
"Eased open-fire restrictions - will this stop the Molotov cocktail and stone-throwing terror?" Diskin asked in a post published on his Facebook page.
"Those who believe that a quicker finger on the trigger through eased live-fire rules will stop the stone-throwing terror - are wrong," Diskin wrote. -JPOST.COM STAFF
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a special Knesset meeting to discuss the escalating violence in Jerusalem.
"Has Netanyahu done all he can to make sure Jerusalem will not fall apart on his watch? Stop the farce, stop the failure of security in Jerusalem. Stop posing with maps, photos won't help Israel," he said.
"We need to immediately start a diplomatic process. If not, the prime minister will be responsible for the outbreak of a third intifada," he added. -LAHAV HARKOV10:50 a.m.
Knesset will hold a special meeting during its recess on Monday, to discuss the escalating violence in Jerusalem. -LAHAV HARKOV10:44 a.m.
Graffiti defaced a wall in a tunnel near the city of Kiryat Ye'arim in Jerusalem with the slogans "Death to the Arabs, "Liberman", and "Price-tag attack."
Police are looking for the perpetrators and have opened an investigation. - JPOST.COM STAFF9:08 a.m.
Border police and local forces arrested 21 suspects overnight for disturbances in east Jerusalem.
Jerusalem police continue to search the area for others suspected of disturbing the peace. -JPOST.COM STAFF
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said on Sunday that he opposes stricter rules of engagement, opening fire against stone throwers and setting minimum sentences for those caught.
Weinstein made the remarks at the end of a special hearing held at the Prime Minister's office about the escalation of violence in Jerusalem. -DANA SOMBERG
During an overnight police sweep starting late Saturday night, 27 Palestinian suspects accused of throwing rocks and firebombs at officers in flashpoint Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem were arrested, police said on Sunday.
The crackdown brings the total number of arrests over the last 48 hours to 39. -DANIEL K. EISENBUD
According to reports, stone-throwers lobbed rocks at in-transit vehicles on highway 443
Sunday evening. -JPOST.COM STAFF
During a security cabinet meeting Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the reexamination of the rules of engagement in light of escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Netanyahu went on to say that new measures would have to be enacted in order to prevent and deter future instances of terrorism. -JPOST.COM STAFF
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog pointed out that Netanyahu said during this year's election that, if Zionist Union wins, Israelis will only be able to go to the Western Wall in armed personnel carriers.
"What's absurd is that, under his watch, that is exactly what is happening. Mothers and babies are attacked and threatened when they leave the house. This is a result of weak leadership that does not know how to protect Isralei citizens' security," Herzog stated. -LAHAV HARKOV5:19 p.m.
Jerusalem police received a report about a man acting suspiciously while holding a hammer or an axe near the mall in Ramot. Police arrived at the scene and identified a person who meets the description of the suspect, near the Ramot checkpoint. The suspect ran in the direction of Beit Iksa but was caught by security forces after a warning shot was fired.
Police have not yet found the a weapon. The suspect did not have a permit to enter Israel.Police transferred the suspect for interrogation and are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. -JPOST.COM STAFF 3:04 p.m.
President Reuven Rivlin paid a shiva call to the family of Alexander Levlovitz, who was killed on Monday after his car was stoned in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood while driving home with his two daughters after celebrating Rosh Hashana. -JPOST.COM STAFF
The Anti -Defamation League said it was appalled by the one sided statement made by the United Nations Security Council regarding the rising tensions on the Temple Mount which omitted the importance of the site to the Jewish people.
“We are greatly concerned by increasing tensions in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary site, holy to Jews and Muslims, and support the continued efforts of Israel’s political and religious leadership to appeal for calm and ensure that the ‘status quo’ - which accommodates both Jews and Muslims and has been in place since 1967 - be maintained,” said ADL National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a statement.
“The UN Security Council had the opportunity to address the reality of this difficult and potentially explosive situation, including through directly appealing for an end to the blatant Palestinian incitement and violence, but instead, the Council turned a blind eye by disregarding the context and presented this complex issue as one directed only at Muslim worshipers at a Muslim holy site. We fear that unfortunately this will serve to encourage not just one-sided narratives, but also anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incitement and action on this most sensitive and holy space," he continued. -JPOST.COM STAFF2:26 p.m.
PLO Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday, "The Israeli government is enthusiastically trying to turn the Question of Palestine into a religious war; a narrative that we do not, and will not, accept. We will continue to seek all necessary legal and diplomatic paths, towards ending Israel’s colonization and occupation of Palestine." -TOVAH LAZAROFF2:16 p.m.
An IDF commander was injured lightly in the leg as he responded to an incident in which a group of 60 masked Palestinians threw stones at the road, just outside of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, by the checkpoint leading to the West Bank Tekoa settlement.
An Israeli vehicle was damaged by the stones, according to an IDF spokesman. The IDF used non-lethal means to disperse the rioters. -TOVAH LAZAROFF
A delegation of five Joint List MKs headed to Jordan on Sunday morning and met with Jordan King Abdullah regarding tensions over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and planned to travel on to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.
The delegation which is dealing with the al-Aksa Mosque issue is headed by Joint List MK and Ta’al chairman Ahmad Tibi and includes Balad head Jamal Zahalka, Taleb Abu Arar (United Arab List), Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash), and Osama Sa’adi (Ta’al).
According to the visiting MKs, the Jordan king bluntly told them: al-Aksa Mosque is a place for Muslim prayer with no division nor partnership. - ARIEL BEN SOLOMON
The families of those who throw rocks and Molotov cocktails should no longer get National Insurance allowances, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev proposed. Regev presented her initiative to the cabinet, which would take away all NII allowances – such as unemployment, pensions and work-injury payments – from terrorists and the families of minors who committed acts of terror, including rock-throwing and launching Molotov cocktails. “Rocks kill. It cannot be that murderers and their families will get NII benefits from the government,"
she said. -LAHAV HARKOV
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said at the weekly cabinet meeting that he was "obligated to preserve the status quo at the Temple Mount," in response to charges from the Palestinians and Arab states that Israel was escalating tensions at the holy site. -JPOST.COM STAFF
Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a structure in the Nof Zion neighborhood in Jerusalem overnight. One of the projectiles enetred the house, starting a fire and causing damage. Police were searching for suspects. -JPOST.COM STAFF