(JNi.media) At the end of the violent Al-Aqsa Mosque demonstration in Jaffa, the first in this mixed city of Jews and Arabs since October 2000, the city’s Arab business owners are concerned by the deterioration of relations with Jews and the loss of customers, Walla reported.
Five policemen sustained minor injuries Tuesday night in violent clashes with rioting Jaffa Arabs, who identified with the Arab violence in Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported. Police say the riots began during a protest initiated by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement—which is radical and anti-Zionist, and residents of Jaffa. The protesters threw stones at the police and at a local Hesder yeshiva (whose students serve in the IDF).
Police said the Arab rioters went on a rampage, throwing stones at vehicles, including buses. Six of the rioters were arrested. Police dispersed the protesters following a meeting with Jaffa community leaders and deployed forces to prevent further disturbances. Police say they are determined to locate the attackers who struck at policemen, and bring them to justice.
“All is calm at the moment,” community leader Samir Motoran, owner of a renowned candy store in Jaffa, told Walla. “From 2000 until today the city of Jaffa has been quiet, we live here in coexistence of Jews and Arabs, and there are no problems. Today, because of the situation in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Islamic Movement does solidarity protests. Not only in Jaffa, throughout the country. Life here went back to normal after half an hour. The roads are open, and all the Jews are coming back because this city belongs to all of us.”
According Motoran, Arab business owners in the city fear a boycott by Jews, as it was during the second intifada. “My fear is that a small group of extremist Jews will begin to boycott us again, as they did in 2000. We do not want such a boycott, because we live here together and make a living off them. I call on all the citizens of Israel to come to Jaffa in droves. No one would harm anyone, I guarantee it.”
Kamal Aghbarieh, chairman of the Arab Ajami neighborhood, said the boiling point of the riot was in front of the Jaffa yeshiva, “where the demonstration got a little out of control. [Otherwise] the clashes were with security forces and not with the Jewish residents, who live with us together in the same buildings and streets.”