Weekend riots flare up in e. J'lem

Cars burned elicit Palestinian claims of ‘price-tag’ reprisals by right-wingers.

March 21, 2010 04:36
2 minute read.
Police officers confront Palestinian rioters in th

isawiya riots 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Despite the relative calm across the capital throughout the weekend, east Jerusalem was again the scene of sporadic violence on Friday and on Saturday night as Arab youths burned tires, and threw stones and firebombs at security personnel by the entrance to Isawiya and the Shuafat refugee camp.

Border Police and Israel Police officers dispersed the rioters, in the capital’s northeast, using tear gas and stun grenades. No injuries were reported.

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Twenty-one people – 15 adults and six minors – were arrested during the disturbances at the entrance to Shuafat, a police spokesman said. No arrests were reported in Isawiya.

A firebomb was also thrown at security forces near Herod's Gate in the Old City on Friday afternoon. Although the bottle shattered and exploded, no one was hurt and no damage was caused.

Two Arabs were arrested on suspicion of carrying out the attack, police said.

Additionally, Arab residents of the Ras al-Amud and Wadi Joz neighborhoods alleged that a number of private vehicles that had caught fire on Friday night were the result of “price-tag” reprisals by right-wing activists after Tuesday's Hamas-declared “Day of Rage,” which saw riots throughout east Jerusalem.

Although fliers were reportedly circulated in the capital over recent days threatening such reprisal attacks, right-wing activists were quick to dismiss the allegations on Saturday.

A Jerusalem police spokesman confirmed on Saturday night that two vehicles had been burned over the weekend – a car on Salah a-Din Street near the Damascus Gate and a bus, which was completely burned, in Ras al-Amud, in the city’s southeast. Police said investigations were ongoing in both cases.

Also on Friday, about 300 people gathered in Sheikh Jarrah to protest what they termed the “Judaization” of the neighborhood.

The protests, which have become a weekly occurrence, often draw hundreds of left-wing activists and residents of Sheikh Jarrah, who arrive to protest the eviction of Palestinian families from homes in the neighborhood and the subsequent entrance of Jewish families to those homes.

While the evictions came after lengthy court battles that ended in favor of the Jewish owners, protesters have continued to arrive in the neighborhood and sporadic violence has broken out between Arab residents and the Jews who now live in the homes.

Security personnel were on hand to oversee Friday’s protest, but no arrests were reported and the demonstration concluded peacefully.

Left-wing activists were also set to hold a demonstration in the Silwan neighborhood on Sunday, to counter a planned protest march led by right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir.

While the pair had announced their intentions to bring about 70 protesters to the neighborhood on Sunday, in an effort to “observe illegal construction” there, police on Thursday announced that they had postponed the march due to the tense atmosphere in the capital.

The protest has been rescheduled for April 25; left-wing activists have made clear their intentions to counter the march regardless of its date.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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