Security tightened in Jerusalem in the wake of rioting

Large police presence in Old City; Succot events to proceed as planned after Old City clashes; view gallery of Wednesday's riots.

September 23, 2010 02:07
2 minute read.

Jerusalem riots 4. (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)


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Security in Jerusalem was tightened on Thursday, in police measures taken following large riots on Tuesday that erupted after a Palestinian man was killed by an Israeli security guard.

Whilst Succot holiday events were scheduled to proceed as planned, a large police presence was in place in the Old City and surrounding area, due to fears of further clashes.

Jerusalem District Police Commander Aharon Franco on Wednesday evening gave his backing to the guard who shot and killed Samar Sarchan, 35, a resident of the east Jerusalem village of Silwan on Wednesday morning.

Franco told reporters that "according to an initial investigation, the guard encountered a preplanned ambush which put his life in danger, prompting him to open fire."

Pre-dawn riots in Silwan subdued with no injuries
Palestinians attack forces in Silwan

According to later reports, Sarchan was said to be associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. Local Fatah and PA leaders spent much of Wednesday trying to calm situation in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods that had experienced violence after Sarchan's death, claiming that violence would only provide Israel with a convenient excuse to end peace negotiations.

Despite efforts to institute calm throughout the city, a policewoman was lightly injured in Silwan Wednesday evening after being hit with stones that were thrown by residents. She was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the city.

Ealier in Silwan, three Molotov cocktails were thrown at police stationed in the neighborhood. Another four Molotov cocktails were hurled at the Beit Orot Yeshiva near the a-Tur neighborhood in Jerusalem as well.

Police, though, reported that a relative calm has been restored in the area after a day of violent clashes.

Ten people were injured during the day, including a 35-year-old Israeli in moderate condition who was stabbed in the back near the Mount of Olives. Police reported that attendees threw stones at officers, vehicles and buses causing injuries and damage, and that a police vehicle and several other vehicles were set alight near Jerusalem's Old City.

Eight people were arrested for disturbing the peace, five at the Temple Mount and three on Derech HaOfer, the road that leads from the Mount of Olives cemetery towards the Old City and back to Silwan.

The death of the Sarchan happened early Wednesday morning, when a security guard was driving a security vehicle on his way to a Jewish home when residents blocked the street with trash cans and began hurling rocks at him.

The guard, fearing for his life, allegedly opened fire with his personal firearm at a group of rock throwers and killed a resident. Police found two knives and screwdriver on the body of the victim, who had a previous criminal history and was known to police.

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