A Jewish-Israeli was moderately injured after being run over by an Arab driver in the Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood of east Jerusalem on Saturday night, shortly after clashes broke out between Jews, Arabs and police in the neighborhood.
The driver told police that he was sprayed with pepper spray and was trying to drive away when he hit the Israeli. Police are investigating the incident, but are not considering it of terrorist background. Six suspects were arrested by police during the riots.
עשרות ערבים החלו להשליך אבנים לעבר בתי היהודים בשמעון הצדיק (שייח ג'ראח) המשטרה מגיבה ברימוני הלם והזעיקה למקום עוד שני צוותות של יס"מ pic.twitter.com/2oiNTvtygV— יאיר לוי (@Yair__Levy) February 12, 2022
Videos attributed to the scene showed Jewish and Arab residents throwing stones and other objects at each other while other videos showed police arriving at the scene and firing tear gas.
"قوات الاحتلال تهاجم الأهالي وتطلق قنابـ.ـل الغاز تجاههم تزامناً مع اعتداء المستوطنين على المقدسيين بحي الشيخ جراح" pic.twitter.com/1cqB73cqKk— AlQastal القسطل (@AlQastalps) February 12, 2022
Israel Police stated that officers pushed back rioters with riot dispersal methods after they failed to heed dispersal orders issued by police. An Israeli was lightly injured in the clashes.
Hamas called the clashes a "blatant aggression and playing with fire," warning Israel that the situation would "explode in its face." The terrorist movement called on Arabs and Palestinians to mobilize to support residents of Sheikh Jarrah.
The clashes came shortly after Otzma Yehudit head MK Itamar Ben-Gvir announced that he would be setting up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Sunday morning in order to "protect them."
"If the residents do not receive protection from the police, I will protect them," said Ben-Gvir. "Tomorrow I will open a parliamentary chamber in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood until security returns to the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood and the police establish permanent security."
Ben-Gvir said that he would be setting up the office in the garden of the Yoshvayev family whose house was set on fire over the weekend, adding that he would stay there until the family receives 24/7 security.
In May 2021, Ben Gvir set up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood during the tensions and violence in the neighborhood leading up to Operation Guardian of the Walls.
In response to Ben-Gvir's announcement, Meretz MK Mossi Raz stated that the Otzma Yehudit head was "trying to set fire to the territory and whip up a war, as he did last May."
"Sheikh Jarrah should indeed be approached by Knesset members but not to set the area on fire but to see the injustice taking place there and to attend the weekly demonstration on Friday afternoons demanding justice," said Raz.
The left-wing Darkenu movement called on security forces to prevent Ben-Gvir from setting up an office in the neighborhood, as this could serve as incitement and endanger civilians.
"Just 9 months ago, Ben-Gvir's provocation led to the unrest in the area and contributed to the sparking of violence across the country," said the left-wing NGO Ir Amim on Saturday night.
"It is as if no lesson has been learned and Ben-Gvir again declares a bureau in Sheikh Jarrah. Not only is this not his job, but his presence in the neighborhood will also cause the opposite - ferment and increase hostility - and that is what he is looking for, to see Jerusalem burn."
Tensions surrounding planned evictions of Arab families in the neighborhood were one of the reasons Palestinian terrorist groups cited for launching rockets at Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day last year, sparking the nearly two-week-long conflict.
In November, the four Arab families threatened with eviction rejected a High Court of Justice compromise to solve their property dispute with the Jewish-owned Nahalat Shimon Company.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.