Stones thrown at firemen called to Mount of Olives

Incident including Arab stone throwers follows ongoing deterioration of security situation.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
March 11, 2012 03:05
1 minute read.
A man prays at the Mount of Olives cemetery.

Mount of Olives Jerusalem skyline panorama 390 R. (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

 
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Firefighters who attempted to put out a dumpster fire were attacked on Saturday on the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem, another stone-throwing attack in a series of incidents at the cemetery.

According to Jerusalem firefighter spokesman Asaf Abras, after a number of people started throwing rocks, the firefighters tried to reverse their direction but the “rain of stones” continued while a crowd formed at the scene.

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Firefighters left the scene after the rocks smashed the windshield and other rocks damaged the sides of the firetruck. The firefighters filed a complaint of the incident with security forces.

Abras told The Jerusalem Post that when the security situation is unstable firefighters sometimes will face violence when responding to calls in east Jerusalem, including attempts to damage the firetrucks, puncture the tires, or attack firefighters.

In January, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Ahronovitch announced that Jerusalem police would open a new police station on the Mount of Olives with 25 police officers in mid-February. The police station will not open until the end of March at the earliest, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben- Ruby said on Saturday.

A recent Knesset hearing two weeks ago focused on the deteriorating security system at the Mount of Olives, which has seen a number of attacks in recent months.

On February 24, Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, visited the cemetery with US Congressmen Eliot Engel (Democrat- New York) and Jerrold Nadler (Democrat-New York). A large rock was thrown at the group as it examined some of the recently vandalized graves, though no one was injured.

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