Major clashes took place Wednesday evening between Palestinians and Israeli police forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Issawiya, following a suspected terrorist attack in which a three-month-old Israeli girl, Chaya Zissel Braun, was killed.
Sixteen rioters were arrested throughout the capital Wednesday, said Deputy Finance Minister and former Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy on Channel 2.
Dozens of masked Palestinians set tires and dumpsters ablaze and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers in Silwan and Issawiya, police said in a statement.
Unconfirmed reports also said riots were taking place at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of the capital.
Police said they were using riot dispersal means to quell the violence.
Stones were thrown at vehicles in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina, damaging a car and inflicting minor injuries to the driver. Police said they were searching the area.
Palestinian sources said that Israeli security forces raided the family home of Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, the suspect in the light rail attack, in the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan. Shaludi’s father was reportedly beaten by police officers.
Shaludi is the nephew of Mohiyedine Sharif, the former head of Hamas’s armed wing and its chief bombmaker who was killed in 1988.
The Palestinian sources said Shaludi, 21, was arrested and sentenced to 16 months in Israeli prison in February 2012, and was again detained earlier this year for a month.
Shaludi was shot Wednesday afternoon attempting to flee the scene of the terrorist attack he allegedly carried out at a light rail station in northern Jerusalem.
“A private car which arrived from the direction of the French Hill junction hit a number of pedestrians who were on the pavement and injured nine of them,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.
A few hours after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered police reinforcements deployed across the capital, following a security briefing from Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen.
The capital’s Arab neighborhoods have seen several bouts of intense violence over the last several months, following the killing of an East Jerusalem teen by Jewish extremists in June.
Police have vowed to quell the violence, which has included near-daily rock throwing attacks on the capital’s light rail system, and recently ordered the creation of a special unit to bolster the police presence in the city.
Avi Issacharoff contributed to this report.