Masked Arabs clashed with police and damaged a light rail car in east Jerusalem neighborhoods Sunday despite the deployment of more than 1,000 extra police officers throughout flashpoint Arab neighborhoods.
Between 20 and 30 Arab men and youths attacked officers with fireworks in Isawiya, resulting in the use of stun grenades to disperse the mob, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
No serious injuries or arrests were reported, he said.
Later in the afternoon, a light rail car passing through the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat was damaged during a rock attack.
“Police units arrived at the scene immediately and prevented other incidents from taking place,” Rosenfeld said, adding that there were no disturbances on the Temple Mount or in the Old City throughout the day.
Meanwhile, during a light rail tour of train stops beleaguered by chronic attacks, Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely said a climate of fear has pervaded the capital.
Accompanied by police escorts, MK Yoni Chetboun and City Councilman Arieh King just days after a terrorist drove his van into 14 people, killing a Border Police officer and 17-yearold yeshiva student, Hotovely boarded the train at the same stop of Wednesday’s rampage to speak with passengers who have been bombarded by rock attacks and other forms of violence while riding the light rail over the past several months.
Noting the largely empty cars and the significant decline in Jewish passengers riding the train in the city’s north, she dismissed the concrete blocks set up to prevent future vehicular terrorist attacks as a “mockery” and said the capital must adopt former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s no-nonsense handling of violence.
“Anyone who wants to restore security to Jerusalem must adopt the legacy of Giuliani in New York – zero tolerance to all forms of violence, and arrest and severely punish all who throw rocks, and set up a network of cameras in east Jerusalem to document any crimes.”
Noting the pronounced fear of east Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev and Neveh Ya’acov residents, Chetboun, a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said the committee will continue to coordinate with military and police forces to go beyond placing concrete barriers at stops and insist on operational tactics in Arab neighborhoods.
King cautioned, however, that Arabs were moving the battle to downtown Jerusalem, a “dangerous place.”
During a tour of the Temple Mount, Hotovely said the assassination attempt against Rabbi Yehudah Glick two weeks ago was intended to deter Jewish visitation there and must be met with greater prayer rights.
“Our response must be to strengthen the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount,” she said.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.