As left-wing protest disperses, Jews hurl rocks at Arabs in J'lem neighborhood.
By JPOST.COM STAFFPublished: MARCH 12, 2010 10:37Advertisement
Mere hours after Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. David Cohen vowed that rioting would not be tolerated, one Arab was hurt in Sheikh Jarrah as clashes continued on Friday evening.According to police, Jews began to hurl rocks at Arabs near the grave of Shimon Hatzadik after the weekly left-wing protest at the disputed east Jerusalem neighborhood was dispersed.Earlier on Friday, about 250 locals andleft-wing protesters were stopped by police when they attempted tomarch toward Jewish houses in Sheikh Jarrah. Policedeclared that such a march would be illegal and ordered the protestersto return to the site of the demonstration. When they refused to do so,they were pushed back by force. They then began to chant slogans criticizing the Jewish presence in the neighborhood.Eight demonstrators weredetained following the incident, but were released on bail andbanished from Sheikh Jarrah for a period of two weeks. The woman whohad initiated the illegal march was taken in for questioning.Meanwhile on Friday evening, shots were fired at a Border Police patrol jeep near Giv'on Hahadasha, a settlement northwest of Jerusalem. No one was hurt.Following another Friday of skirmishes, albeit minor, in the east Jerusalem area and in the West Bank, Insp. Cohen had announced that police would continue to "maintain our policy of not tolerating disturbances." He stressed, however, that "it’s also important to preserve a channel for dialogue with the various elements in east Jerusalem to enable religious rituals and quiet."Cohen was speaking on the Temple Mount after prayers there attended by some 6,000 Muslims ended without incident.Rioting broke out throughout the day in various east Jerusalem neighborhoods, however. In Ras el-Amud, youths ruled rocks at security forces, lightly wounding a Border Policeman. Rioting and rock-throwing were also reported near Ramallah and at the weekly demonstration in Bil'in and Na'alin, which was attended by 150 Palestinians and left-wing activists.Access to the Temple Mount was restricted on Friday amid fears of violence, and young Arabs barred from the mount clashed with security forces at various spots in and around the Old City. A policeman was lightly wounded by rocks and four young Arabs were arrested for attacking security forces, police said.At one point, police prevented several Arab youngsters from breaking through a security barrier at the Ras el-Amoud checkpoint in a bid to get to the Temple Mount.Since early Friday morning, police reinforcements had been deployed on the mount, as well as elsewhere in and around the Old City, and access to the site was restricted to men over 50 and women.It followed an intelligence report warning of violence over the decision to include Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs and Bethlehem's Rachel's Tomb on the heritage list, as well as over this week's announcement by an Interior Ministry committee of the planned expansion of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.Arab rioters and policemen have been wounded in recent violence in thecapital, which has included youths hurling rocks down at Western Wallworshipers from the Temple Mount.Furthermore, following asecurity assessment indicating that rioting might spread to the WestBank, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the army to impose a generalclosure on the territories, beginning at midnight Thursday andcontinuing until midnight Saturday.However, travel to and from the West Bank was being permitted in humanitarian cases.
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