Third intifada not likely, says former Jerusalem police chief

Amid violent protests across east Jerusalem neighborhoods, official says quiet likely to resume in capital.

By
September 9, 2014 09:02
Wadi Joz

Palestinians carry the coffin of Muhammad Sunuqrut during his funeral in East Jerusalem's Wadi Joz neighbourhood, September 8. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Despite a report published Monday by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) delineating a pronounced uptick in terrorist attacks in the capital this summer – compounded by present rioting – former Jerusalem district police chief Mickey Levy said a third intifada is unlikely.

According to the report, there were 152 attacks in Jerusalem during July and August – up from 22 in May and June, and seven in March and April. However, a separate report published last month by police and the Construction and Housing Ministry stated there were 360 assaults against Jews in July alone, double the amount during the same period last year.

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Monday’s report concluded that most of the violence, which it deemed “spontaneous” and “unorganized,” occurred following the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir and during Operation Protective Edge.

It added that more than 600 arrests have been made and nearly 200 indictments have been issued since chronic rioting began in early July.

The violence primarily took place in Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, and included sniper fire, firebomb and firecracker attacks on Jewish homes and property, and numerous rock attacks on police, vehicles, and the light rail, which has suspended service in flashpoint neighborhoods.

Despite the alarming level of hostilities, Levy, now deputy finance minister, asserted Tuesday that a third intifada was unlikely, and that order would be restored shortly.

“We are not on the brink of a third intifada,” Levy said in an interview with Israel Radio, adding that quiet would resume “soon.”

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Echoing the Shin Bet’s report, Levy also described the rioting and attacks as spontaneous and unorganized, and expressed confidence that police would be able to restore order.

Meanwhile, rioting resumed in east Jerusalem following the Monday night funeral of Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, 16, who died on Sunday, one week after allegedly being shot in the head with a police sponge-covered bullet during an August 31 riot.

Police contend that the teen was shot in the leg after he threw rocks at officers and subsequently fell and hit his head on the ground upon attempting to flee the scene. An autopsy report is scheduled to be released in the coming days.

The funeral procession devolved into rioting in Sunuqrut’s neighborhood of Wadi Joz when dozens of masked Palestinians threw rocks at officers stationed in the area, resulting in at least three arrests.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said order was restored shortly after the violence flared. While conceding that rioting in the capital has indeed peaked over the last two months, Rosenfeld said Tuesday that he believed it was directly related the war in Gaza and deaths of Abu Khdeir and Sunuqrut.

“The Israeli Police have dealt with disturbances nearly every evening in Arab areas including Shuafat, Isawiya, Wadi Joz, Abu Tor and other neighborhoods due to two facts: Operation Protective Edge and the murder of Abu Khdeir,” he said.

“Police units will continue to monitor disturbances in Arab neighborhoods and respond to any incidents using nonlethal means,” he added.

Police remain on high alert throughout the eastern portion of the capital, he said, adding that “units will continue to patrol Arab areas and respond if necessary to any disturbances provoked by Israeli Arab residents there.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.Despite a report published Monday by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) delineating a pronounced uptick in terrorist attacks in the capital this summer – compounded by present rioting – former Jerusalem district police chief Mickey Levy said a third intifada is unlikely.

According to the report, there were 152 attacks in Jerusalem during July and August – up from 22 in May and June, and seven in March and April. However, a separate report published last month by police and the Construction and Housing Ministry stated there were 360 assaults against Jews in July alone, double the amount during the same period last year.

Monday’s report concluded that most of the violence, which it deemed “spontaneous” and “unorganized,” occurred following the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir and during Operation Protective Edge.

It added that more than 600 arrests have been made and nearly 200 indictments have been issued since chronic rioting began in early July.

The violence primarily took place in Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, and included sniper fire, firebomb and firecracker attacks on Jewish homes and property, and numerous rock attacks on police, vehicles, and the light rail, which has suspended service in flashpoint neighborhoods.

Despite the alarming level of hostilities, Levy, now deputy finance minister, asserted Tuesday that a third intifada was unlikely, and that order would be restored shortly.

“We are not on the brink of a third intifada,” Levy said in an interview with Israel Radio, adding that quiet would resume “soon.”

Echoing the Shin Bet’s report, Levy also described the rioting and attacks as spontaneous and unorganized, and expressed confidence that police would be able to restore order.

Meanwhile, rioting resumed in east Jerusalem following the Monday night funeral of Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, 16, who died on Sunday, one week after allegedly being shot in the head with a police sponge-covered bullet during an August 31 riot.

Police contend that the teen was shot in the leg after he threw rocks at officers and subsequently fell and hit his head on the ground upon attempting to flee the scene. An autopsy report is scheduled to be released in the coming days.

The funeral procession devolved into rioting in Sunuqrut’s neighborhood of Wadi Joz when dozens of masked Palestinians threw rocks at officers stationed in the area, resulting in at least three arrests.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said order was restored shortly after the violence flared. While conceding that rioting in the capital has indeed peaked over the last two months, Rosenfeld said Tuesday that he believed it was directly related the war in Gaza and deaths of Abu Khdeir and Sunuqrut.

“The Israeli Police have dealt with disturbances nearly every evening in Arab areas including Shuafat, Isawiya, Wadi Joz, Abu Tor and other neighborhoods due to two facts: Operation Protective Edge and the murder of Abu Khdeir,” he said.

“Police units will continue to monitor disturbances in Arab neighborhoods and respond to any incidents using nonlethal means,” he added.

Police remain on high alert throughout the eastern portion of the capital, he said, adding that “units will continue to patrol Arab areas and respond if necessary to any disturbances provoked by Israeli Arab residents there.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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