Dozens of residents from east Jerusalem’s neighborhood A-Tur, which has been the scene of chronic rioting for several days, gathered Wednesday morning to protest police-enforced roadblocks within the community. The demonstration was organized by a local committee of parents and residents who say concrete barriers have blocked roads to roughly 4,000 homes and four schools in the neighborhood for the past two days. While the protesters alleged collective punishment and harassment at the hands of police, a police spokesman said on Wednesday that the roadblocks would be removed as soon as residents cease participating in violence.
Rioting began in the neighborhood last Saturday, after a teen from there was killed at a checkpoint near Ma’aleh Adumim while attempting to stab a soldier with a butcher knife. At least two Border Police officers have been wounded in the ensuing riots. In response to the escalation of violence, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Sunday the deployment of 500 policemen to flashpoint Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.