Tower of David in Jerusalem’s Old City.
(photo credit: SETH J. FRANTZMAN)
Violence continued in flashpoint neighborhoods of east Jerusalem on Wednesday when dozens of masked Palestinian youths rioted in Isawiya and Silwan, and a Jewish youth was assaulted while walking in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
According to Police spokes - woman Luba Samri, riot officers were called into Isawiya in the morning to disperse a mob of several dozen Palestinian teens who launched fire - works and threw firebombs and rocks at border police stationed in the area.
Police used stun grenades to disband the violent group and no arrests or injuries were reported, Samri said.
Later in the day, riot police were called into Silwan, adjacent to the Old City, when a group of masked youths hurled firebombs and rocks at officers stationed in the neighborhood. Again, the disturbance was dispersed with stun grenades.
While no arrests were made, Samri said police are searching for the suspects. No officers were wounded during the riot.
On Wednesday afternoon, an Arab minor was arrested in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City after attacking a Jewish teenager. While the details of the assault were unclear, Samri said the Jewish youth was badly shaken but did not require medical treatment.
Meanwhile, Samri said a 14-year-old Israeli boy was detained on the Temple Mount for “behavior that may disturb the public order,” although she did not elaborate.
Noting the uptick in violence in the capital, former east Jerusalem portfolio hold - er Dr. Meir Margalit, whose position has since been absorbed by Mayor Nir Barkat, said the municipality cannot effectively address the problem through police intervention alone.
“The police are not able to change the situation,” he said on Wednesday. “They can control it for a while, but it’s just an illusion because the police are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.
The solution to quelling the unrest, Margalit contended, is for the municipality to create a constructive dialogue with Palestinian leaders in east Jerusalem who continue to feel alienated by a largely right-wing city hall.
“If the municipality does not create an open dialogue with the right people, the violence will not end,” he said. “On the contrary, it will get worse and worse.”