High Alert in Jerusalem as Arab Riots Continue
by Maayana Miskin
Israel National News
Jerusalem police are on high alert as Muslim prayers take place at the
Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. There is concern that worshipers
will be inspired to further violence, as Arab rioting near the Old City
continues for a third day. There is a massive police presence in the
Old City and no Muslim males under the age of 50 are being allowed on
the Temple Mount.
Rioters have thrown rocks at passersby, police, vehicles and buildings,
wounding one officer and 11 civilians. Firebombs have also been used.
Four buses sustained severe damage, and three cars were burnt.
16 rioters were arrested early on Friday morning, all of them Arab
residents of Jerusalem from the neighborhoods of Mei Shiloach (Silwan)
Jewish residents of Mei Shiloach and Ir David (City of David) said they
have been under a serious assault for the past 24 hours. Local Arabs
have hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at their sukkahs. In one case,
a firebomb hit a sukkah, setting it ablaze.
On Wednesday night, the first night of Sukkot, an Arab mob attempted to
blast its way into the Beit Yuri complex north of the Old City, home to
four Jewish families. The mob tried to blow open a door using gas
cannisters, and threw rocks at the building.
Jewish residents of the complex said Border Police officers were at the
scene, but said they had orders to use only non-lethal methods of crowd
control, and would not use live fire unless the mob succeeded in
bursting into the building. The rioters were ultimately unable to
access the complex, and continued to throw rocks instead.
Jerusalem Police Chief Aharon Franco said Sukkot events in the capital
would take place as scheduled despite the unrest.
Police are planning for possible riots on Tuesday, which will mark 10
years since the day that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, then the
leader of the Knesset opposition, visited the Temple Mount. Muslim
worshipers reacted to the presence of a Jewish leader on the Temple
Mount with riots so intense that they were considered by many to be the
first attacks of the Oslo War (Second Intifada).