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At least two hurt as East Jerusalem clashes resume; police arrest 5 suspects

Stones hurled in flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; far-right MK Ben Gvir pulls gun, threatens to shoot rioters; senior cop says high alert to continue over weekend

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Police officers are seen in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood following a clash, October 13, 2022. (Israel Police)
Police officers are seen in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood following a clash, October 13, 2022. (Israel Police)

A Jewish Israeli teenager was moderately hurt after being hit in the head by a rock thrown by Palestinians amid renewed clashes in East Jerusalem on Thursday night, police and medics said.

A night earlier, Palestinian protesters hurled stones, explosive devices and Molotov cocktails, launched fireworks and set tires and garbage dumpsters on fire in several neighborhoods as riots over police operations in the Shuafat refugee camp spread to other areas of the city, sparking some of the heaviest fighting seen there in over a year.

According to police, Palestinians and Jewish Israelis clashed in the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Thursday night, with both sides hurling stones at each other.

Sheikh Jarrah, parts of which were historically known as Shimon Hatzadik, has become one of Jerusalem’s tensest neighborhoods. Jewish nationalists have sought to evict Palestinian residents in decades-long legal battles that helped touch off an 11-day war between Israel and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip last year.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said its medics took a 17-year-old Israeli in moderate condition to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in the capital after he was hit in the head by a rock. Another Israeli was lightly hurt in the clash.

Police said officers reached the scene and detained five suspects over the violence. The identities of the detainees were not immediately announced.

Following the clash, extreme-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir arrived at the scene, pulled out a gun, and threatened to shoot the Palestinians hurling stones.

“If they throw stones, we’ll shoot them,” he said.

Police said that earlier in the evening three minors, aged 10, 12, and 13, were detained for launching fireworks and allegedly planning to throw stones in East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood.

A fourth minor was arrested amid a separate violent clash with officers in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, police said.

An additional four Border Police reserve companies were to be deployed Friday morning, as police braced for further violence.

A senior police officer said a high level of alert police had been in over the past few days would remain over the weekend.

Police officers are seen in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood following a clash, October 13, 2022. (Israel Police)

“The increased operational readiness this coming weekend will continue and we will act with all the tools and means at our disposal to deal in a focused and decisive manner with anyone who tries to disrupt the routine of life in the city and disrupt the peace during the Sukkot holidays,” said Doron Turgeman, the chief of police’s Jerusalem district.

The Shuafat refugee camp, where the bulk of the violence in recent days has taken place, had seen closures and heavy police activity, as forces search for a Palestinian gunman who killed an Israeli soldier at a nearby checkpoint on Saturday.

But Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said Thursday that the restrictions on the refugee camp would be eased as much as possible.

A police officer is seen in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, during clashes with Palestinians, on October 12, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz meanwhile instructed law enforcement to focus efforts on preventing the spread of fake news on social media that could incite further violence, their offices said.

Police have been searching Shuafat for Udai Tamimi, who allegedly committed the shooting attack that left Sgt. Noa Lazar dead, and another guard, David Morel, hospitalized in serious condition.

The rioting came as Jewish Israelis were celebrating the Sukkot holiday, which generally draws thousands of visitors to Jerusalem and its Old City, often raising tensions with Palestinian residents.

The violence in Jerusalem also came amid rising unrest in the West Bank, where sporadic clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers were reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly hurling stones at Israeli cars near Hebron, and on Tuesday, an Israeli soldier was killed in a shooting near Nablus while securing a settler march.

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