Photo Credit: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90
MK Itamar Ben Gvir and Likud MK Amir Ohana seen in Ben Gvir makeshift office in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shimon Hatzadi, February 14, 2022.

The severe clashes between police forces and Arab rioters at the Shimon Hatzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood in Jerusalem continued on Sunday evening, during which Member of Knesset (MK) Itamar Ben-Gvir fainted and was evacuated to the hospital.

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Arab rioters, encouraged by Arab MKs at the scene, clashed with police forces, threw rocks and launched fireworks and the police and Jewish targets in the area, as the police worked to fend them off, using water cannons and troops on horseback at times.

At least 12 rioters were arrested, including three Jews, and several people were injured.

The clashes began Saturday night after Arab terrorists threw Molotov cocktails at the home of Tal Yoshubiev at Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood on Friday night. A fire broke out at his house, but there were no casualties as the Yoshubiev family was not at home on Saturday.

The Yoshubiev family has suffered from repeated harassment on the part of the Arab residents of the neighborhood, who have burned his vehicle nine times. His house is located a few hundred meters away from the national headquarters of the Israel Police, and about 200 meters from a Border Police base.

Ben-Gvir opened a parliamentary chamber in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood on Sunday to force the police to maintain a permanent presence in the area.

“If the residents do not receive protection from the police, I will protect them. Tomorrow I will open a parliamentary chamber in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood until security returns to the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood and the police establish permanent security,” he declared Saturday night.

Before clashing with the police and fainting on Sunday evening, Ben-Gvir claims that the police stormed his “parliamentary chamber,” a tent, and during a scuffle with them, lost consciousness.

He stated from the hospital that he was evacuated “after police officers, led by Officer Shahar Machsomi, were brutal and violent towards me, until I fainted. The police are not allowed to touch a Knesset member, and it is clear to me that they have an order from above to dismantle my parliamentary chamber. It will not help them! We will return until security returns to Shimon Hatzadik!”

The police claimed “during the activity of the forces on the spot, the Knesset member began trying to disturb the police and push them. The policemen tried to calm him down and prevent his rampage. One of the officers even received a blow to his upper body. Ben-Gvir fell to the ground as he struggled with the officers, and then the officers immediately called for medical help.”

Ben-Gvir returned to Shimon Hatzadik on Monday morning. He was joined by Likud MK Amir Ohana.

The Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood has been the scene of multiple Arab attacks against the Jewish residents, whom they want to leave the area.

On December 8, an Israeli mother who was walking in the streets of the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood with her three small children was stabbed and wounded by an Arab terrorist.

The mother, Moriah Cohen in her mid-20s, was evacuated in light condition to a hospital in Jerusalem was the 12-inch knife still stuck in her body. The terrorist fled the scene, and the police launched a manhunt for her and tracked her down to a nearby girl’s school. Massive forces entered the compound and arrested the suspect.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.