Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90
Arabs clash with Israeli forces in Al Aroub refugee camp, October 13, 2022.

Large police forces were deployed Thursday night in Jerusalem following clashes between Arabs and Jews in several areas and in anticipation of the “Day of Rage” that was announced by the Arabs for Friday in protest of the closure imposed on the Shuafat refugee camp since the murderous attack on the checkpoint there (One Dead, One Wounded in Shuafat, Jerusalem Terror Attack). But Jerusalem Police are not planning to restrict the entry of Muslim worshipers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, only to post large forces in the area to prepare for the riots. In fact, they announced the easing––on Friday––of security checks at the Shuafat crossing, where thousands of Arabs enter green-line Israel every day.

Muslim religious freedom is sacred on the Temple Mount.


Two Border Guard reserve companies will be deployed in the Jerusalem sector, and two more companies in the Jerusalem envelope. Defense Minister Benny Gantz also authorized the police to call on six additional reserve companies as needed, following a night in which eastern Jerusalem was burning with Arab rioters and the city also saw some retaliation by local Jews. The security establishment has warned against a deterioration in the capital but insisted the Arabs must not be put under a lockdown.

Ben Gvir Pulls his Gun

In Shimon HaTzadik (a.k.a. Sheikh Jarrah) on Thursday, two Jewish residents were wounded by stones that were thrown at them by local Arabs, and one of them was injured inside his sukkah.

Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir, who pitched his office in the neighborhood to encourage police protection, responded: “Seeing and not believing – now in Shimon HaTzadik, an Arab terrorist throws stones at Jews, in front of policemen. Instead of shooting him or at least arresting him, a policeman is content to only push him back. This is what lawlessness looks like. It’s time to back and push our police officers to mow down the enemy, and I’m on my way there now to protect the Jewish residents, enough with the lawlessness.”

Dozens of Arab rioters started throwing stones at Ben Gvir during his visit, and he pulled out his weapon – only to holster it later without actually using it. Clashes erupted and 11 Arabs and Jews were arrested.

Hamas? What Hamas?

Minister of Internal Security Omer Barlev was the official who gave the order increasing the freedom of movement of the residents of the Shuafat refugee camp, explaining this would be done without harming security considerations nor the police’s operational ability to thwart terrorism and any attempt to disrupt order.

Barlev told Kan 11 News Thursday night: “There is an escalation here, but we are not going into an intifada. We are preparing for the most difficult situation.” Regarding the easing at the Shuafat checkpoint, he claimed: “We are not capitulating, we just changed the method of operation.”

Also, according to the Internal Security Minister, there was no directing hand behind the violent eruptions in the capital.

Minister of Internal Security Omer Barlev (Labor) on Yanet TV, Dec. 28, 2021. / Screenshot from YouTube

Practically every Israeli media outlet thought differently. What Barlev was depicting as an accidental and perhaps surprising escalation was no accident at all: Hamas has been calling the shots from the Gaza Strip after having been preparing the groundwork for many weeks for an escalation in Jerusalem. The declared goal of this terrorist organization for years is to set Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria on fire while maintaining peace in the south to continue to benefit from Israel’s benevolence in accepting thousands of Gazan day workers.

In recent months, most of the clashes focused on northern Samaria, between members of the Palestinian Authority security forces and local terrorists and Israeli security forces. This pushed Hamas to the margins in Judea and Samaria, leading it to return to its familiar strategy focusing on eastern Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque, agitating against Jews who visited (stormed in Arab terminology) the Temple mount on the Tishrei high holidays. It worked in the second Intifada, September 200, in 2017 with the clashes over the magnetometers on the Temple Mount, and in the mass riots of May 2021 that led to Operation Guardian of the Walls – it’s a winning formula for Hamas.

But Barlev can’t acknowledge this publicly, because punishing the Hamas government in Gaza would get in the way of the picture of peace and harmony in the south and lead to new confrontations. So his doctrine is firm: no one stirred up the violence in Jerusalem, it just happened. A kind of evolution theory vs. creationism but with riots.

Jews Fighting Back

Finally: this was a sight to behold: a group of Haredi Jews who had enough and marched on Damascus Gate Thursday night, scattering away the local Arabs. Mind you, they were not violent, only numerous. Enjoy:

There was also this: a group of Jewish youths confronted local Arabs in Huara and exchanged stones:

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