Several dozen teenagers staging the late afternoon sit-in at the entrance to Jerusalem refused a police order to disperse.
By ETGAR LEFKOVITSPublished: DECEMBER 4, 2008 22:28Advertisement
Twenty teenagers were arrested on Thursday for blocking the western entrance to Jerusalem during a violent protest against the evacuation of Hebron's Beit Hashalom, police said.
Later, at least 10 more protesters were arrested for blocking the capital's Sderot Herzl and other main thoroughfares in the city.
The several dozen teenagers staging the late afternoon sit-in at the entrance to Jerusalem refused a police order to disperse. When officers started to forcibly remove demonstrators, others began pelting the police with stones, and a game of cat and mouse ensued, with officers chasing youngsters and protesters trying to sneak back to their previous positions.
The demonstrators shouted "Nazis" at the police, their anger especially directed against religious security personnel.
Around 100 onlookers were there to support the protesters.
Two police officers were lightly wounded, including one who was hit in the head by a stone, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.
The protest played havoc with the rush-hour, creating huge traffic jams throughout the city.
What would normally be a 20-minute drive to the entrance to the city took more than 45 minutes during the hour-long skirmish.
"This sit-in represents just a taste of what the public is feeling," said 17-year-old Yishai. "We want all the people of Israel to see what is going on here."
"Leave him alone, he is a child," the protesters shouted as a teen was arrested.
"This was a not simple dispersal, and police faced very violent resistance from the demonstrators," Jerusalem police chief Lt.-Cmdr. Bruno Stein told reporters at the scene.
An hour later, police said Highway 1 near Jerusalem was reopened, but major traffic backups were still evident throughout the city.
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