In a police operation over the past two days, 37 East Jerusalem residents were arrested in their homes on suspicion of rioting over the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israel Police said in a statement Thursday.
A total of 67 people have been arrested for riot-related crimes during disturbances that flared up following US President Donald Trump’s statement last week, police said.
Over the past two days, arrests were carried out in East Jerusalem neighborhoods including A-Tur, Shuafat, Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amud, Issawiya, and the Old City of Jerusalem. The suspects were all taken in for questioning and later brought to court for hearings.
Thirty of the total number of those arrested since last week were detained as they participated in riots, police said.
Police said a combination of fieldwork, intelligence gathering, surveillance and the use of technology, along with determined detective work, led to the arrest of key suspects in the violent demonstrations.
During riots at various locations in the capital, protesters threw stones, glass bottles, Molotov cocktails, and other objects at officers as well as blocking roads, burning garbage cans, and shooting firecrackers at police. Several officers have been injured.
“We located and arrested the core rioters who took an active part in the violent disturbances directed against the security forces,” police said.
“The police will take a hard and uncompromising stance against any person and any entity who takes an active part in disturbances in order to incite, inflame, and harm the security forces and civilians, and will act to enforce the full extent of the law,” police said.
The Palestinian rioting came in response to an address December 6 from the White House, in which Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue. He described his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.
The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum and elicited rage among Palestinians. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.
In response, the Fatah group of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for protests and “days of rage.” Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group that seeks to destroy Israel, called for a new intifada to liberate Jerusalem.