Children at school.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
The first day of school in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jebl Mukaber was marred by violence Monday morning, after dozens of masked Palestinians attempted to block a secondary school’s new headmistress from entering the building, and then attacked police.
According to the Arab press, the protesters singled out the unidentified educator over the lack of services offered to students at the all-boys school, who they said require dozens of extra classrooms and closer supervision.
Due to widespread dissatisfaction among parents in the neighborhood, four out of the eight schools in Jebl Mukaber have yet to open.
Upon arriving at the school to safely escort the headmistress into the building, a police spokesman said rocks were thrown at responding officers, lightly wounding three, one of whom required hospitalization.
Police resorted to non-lethal riot dispersal methods, including firing tear gas and stun grenades, although no arrests were made, police said.
Monday morning’s violence came amid a pronounced spike in rioting throughout east Jerusalem since the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir and Operation Protective Edge in July, resulting in hundreds of Palestinian arrests over the last two months.
In response to the ongoing violence, police have heightened their presence throughout flashpoint Arab neighborhoods, including Shuafat, Isawiya, French Hill, Abu Tor, A-Tur, and Sur Bahir.
According to one NGO, police arrested 600 Palestinians last month suspected of participating in nightly riots, attacking Jewish homes, and throwing firebombs, firecrackers, and rocks.