Tensions are continuing to rise and violent incidents are increasing in the Old City of Jerusalem. Some 30 Arabs rioters threw firecrackers at the Emet house in the Old City in a confrontations with Border Police officers that included a clash with Arabs hurling bottles and stones at the police. One Border Police officer was lightly wounded.
Arabs threw rocks at some 800 Israelis who were participating in the monthly Rosh Chodesh (New Hebrew Month) march around the Old City walls. No one was injured.
Construction Minister Uri Ariel, one of the participants, stated that Israel’s sovereignty on the Temple Mount should not be destabilized and that the freedom of religious practice should be ensured for all faiths, including Jews.
“Unfortunately, Arab citizens are utilizing the holiness of the Temple Mount for political gain and are generating disturbances, breaking the peace time and again and are providing shelter for rioters,” Ariel pointed out.
“A sovereign state cannot tolerate such a breach of its sovereignty in this most holy of places and I call on the Minister of Public Security not allow this situation to continue.” He further added that it was inconceivable that Jews would be discriminated against on the Temple Mount.
In another incident some 150 Arabs participated in the funeral of terrorist Amjad Al-Safdi, an Israeli Arab lawyer who was arrested a few weeks ago in a joint operation by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Israel Police on suspicion of aiding Hamas terrorists.
Al-Safdi, who was released to house arrest, committed suicide.
His funeral procession began at the Temple Mount and moved through the Old City, with mourners carrying PLO and Hamas flags. At one point they passed by Israeli homes, and one of the mourners threw a glass bottle at the playground which was full of playing children and their parents. No one was injured, but security ordered everyone to enter their homes until the end of the event.
In yet another incident, girls of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) marched in a semi-military march yesterday afternoon near the homes of Israeli residents. The PRC is a coalition of various armed Palestinian Authority Arab terror groups that oppose peace with Israel. The girls, aged 7 – 14, marched in uniform, flying the PRC yellow-colored and the PLO flags, stepping in tandem with the beat of march- like military drums.
Sarah Ha’etzni Cohen, chairwoman of the ‘My Israel’ activist organization told Tazpit News Agency she viewed the march and its violence with much severity. “This march is another grave incident taking place right under the nose of the police. This incident is one of many which are undermining Israel’s sovereignty in our capital, Jerusalem. We call again on Public Security Minister Aharonovitz to take responsibility and ensure the safety of the residents of Jerusalem and the State of Israel.”
The police were unavailable for comment.
On April 23 Arabs hurled rocks stones at bus #65 on a main route in Jerusalem, right next to police national headquarters, injuring one of the passengers. The woman was transported to Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center. Several other passengers were treated for shock.
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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