Palestinian rioters clashed with police in Jerusalem for a third consecutive day Saturday, ahead of the funeral of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the terrorist who ran over pedestrians at a Jerusalem light rail station on Wednesday, killing a 3-month old baby and injuring eight others.
Protesters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan hurled stones and firecrackers at a municipal tractor sent in to clear the roads of stones thrown at police a day earlier. Security forces used riot dispersal means to clear the small-scale riot.
Israel Radio reported that al-Shaludi, a Hamas activist from Silwan, would be buried at a Muslim cemetery near the Old City’s Lions’ Gate at 10 p.m. after a court authorized a service to be attended by a maximum of 80 people, for fear the event could turn into a violent protest.
The court rejected Israeli authorities’ request to hold the service at 1 a.m. while only authorizing 20 people to attend — apparently an attempt to discourage demonstrations and rallies surrounding the funeral.
Security forces were on high alert ahead of the funeral.
Services for a Palestinian teenager, a US citizen, who was shot and killed by IDF troops Friday in the West Bank village of Silwad is set for Sunday, to allow his father time to travel from the United States where he is a resident citizen.
Hamas called on Friday to avenge the killing of 14-year-old Orwa Abd El-Wahab Hammad, who was shot by IDF troops after he attempted to hurl a Molotov cocktail at traffic on Highway 60, in the West Bank.
A relative said Hammad was born in New Orleans and came to the West Bank at age six. Hammad’s cousin Moath said he was among a group of Palestinians who were throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.
The IDF said the teenager was 17 and was shot as he was about to hurl a Molotov cocktail at oncoming traffic on Highway 60 in the West Bank, endangering lives.
“The forces fired immediately to neutralize the danger … and confirmed a hit,” an IDF spokeswoman told AFP.
The US State Department expressed its condolences to the boy’s family, and called for “a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation.” It urged calm from both sides to “avoid escalating tensions.”
Hammad is the second teen to be killed by army fire in eight days. A 13-year-old was killed last week in a West Bank village.
Another 12 Palestinians were wounded in clashes on Friday in Issawiya Wadi Joz and Silwan, a hospital official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media.
Police said Saturday they had arrested four suspects in East Jerusalem who were believed to have taken part in riots in Jerusalem’s Old City. The four were taken for questioning.
Prison Service Commissioner Aharon Franko, who was formerly the head of police’s Jerusalem District, told Ynet News the recent spike in Arab demonstrations in the city could not be quelled by force alone.
“Jerusalem is a very sensitive city,” he said. “It’s not possible to stop the violence occurring today with force alone… The instructions are to hold talks with the leadership. To speak with the representatives of the residents and with the parents whose children are detained. This is being done by the (police) commanders.”
Tensions flared in the capital Thursday in the wake of a Wednesday terrorist attack on a Jerusalem light rail station in which three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun was killed and eight others were injured.
Jerusalem’s mayor called for a crackdown against the wave of Palestinian unrest. In a Thursday interview, Mayor Nir Barkat said the violence had become intolerable, and he vowed to restore order.
Tensions have been high since June, when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank. Jewish extremists retaliated by kidnapping and killing a Palestinian teenager in east Jerusalem, sparking riots. The kidnappings set off a series of events that led to the 50-day Gaza war.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.