1 Arab hurt in Sheikh Jarrah

As left-wing protest disperses, Jews hurl rocks at Arabs in J'lem neighborhood.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 12, 2010 10:37
2 minute read.
A Jew and Arab girls cross paths in Sheikh Jarrah.

sheikh jarrah jews arabs 311. (photo credit: Sarah Levin)

 
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Mere hours after Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. David Cohen vowed that rioting would not be tolerated, one Arab was hurt in Sheikh Jarrah as clashes continued on Friday evening.

According to police, Jews began to hurl rocks at Arabs near the grave of Shimon Hatzadik after the weekly left-wing protest at the disputed east Jerusalem neighborhood was dispersed.

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Earlier on Friday, about 250 locals and left-wing protesters were stopped by police when they attempted to march toward Jewish houses in Sheikh Jarrah. Police declared that such a march would be illegal and ordered the protesters to return to the site of the demonstration. When they refused to do so, they were pushed back by force. They then began to chant slogans criticizing the Jewish presence in the neighborhood.

Eight demonstrators were detained following the incident, but were released on bail and banished from Sheikh Jarrah for a period of two weeks. The woman who had initiated the illegal march was taken in for questioning.

Meanwhile on Friday evening, shots were fired at a Border Police patrol jeep near Giv'on Hahadasha, a settlement northwest of Jerusalem. No one was hurt.

Following another Friday of skirmishes, albeit minor, in the east Jerusalem area and in the West Bank, Insp. Cohen had announced that police would continue to "maintain our policy of not tolerating disturbances." He stressed, however, that "it’s also important to preserve a channel for dialogue with the various elements in east Jerusalem to enable religious rituals and quiet."

Cohen was speaking on the Temple Mount after prayers there attended by some 6,000 Muslims ended without incident.



Rioting broke out throughout the day in various east Jerusalem neighborhoods, however. In Ras el-Amud, youths ruled rocks at security forces, lightly wounding a Border Policeman. Rioting and rock-throwing were also reported near Ramallah and at the weekly demonstration in Bil'in and Na'alin, which was attended by 150 Palestinians and left-wing activists.

Access to the Temple Mount was restricted on Friday amid fears of violence, and young Arabs barred from the mount clashed with security forces at various spots in and around the Old City. A policeman was lightly wounded by rocks and four young Arabs were arrested for attacking security forces, police said.

At one point, police prevented several Arab youngsters from breaking through a security barrier at the Ras el-Amoud checkpoint in a bid to get to the Temple Mount.

Since early Friday morning, police reinforcements had been deployed on the mount, as well as elsewhere in and around the Old City, and access to the site was restricted to men over 50 and women.

It followed an intelligence report warning of violence over the decision to include Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs and Bethlehem's Rachel's Tomb on the heritage list, as well as over this week's announcement by an Interior Ministry committee of the planned expansion of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

Arab rioters and policemen have been wounded in  recent violence in the capital, which has included youths hurling rocks down at Western Wall worshipers from the Temple Mount.

Furthermore, following a security assessment indicating that rioting might spread to the West Bank, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the army to impose a general closure on the territories, beginning at midnight Thursday and continuing until midnight Saturday.

However, travel to and from the West Bank was being permitted in humanitarian cases.

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