Police arrest 19 East Jerusalem residents for Yom Kippur riots
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Police arrest 19 East Jerusalem residents for Yom Kippur riots

In overnight raids, army also picks up 2 Palestinians in West Bank, seizes alleged terror funds

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Police arrested 19 residents of East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods on Saturday night and early Sunday morning for throwing rocks and rioting over the Jewish High Holidays, a police spokesperson said.

In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police also arrested two Palestinians in separate overnight raids and confiscated money that was suspected of being “designated for terror activities,” the army said.

The 19 people, including five minors, arrested in East Jerusalem were “suspected of taking part in riots that were carried out during the holidays, with an emphasis on the riots during Yom Kippur,” the police said.

During the Yom Kippur holiday on October 12, which came two days after a deadly Jerusalem shooting attack in which a 60-year-old woman and a police officer were killed, residents of the terrorists’ neighborhood of Silwan clashed with security forces.

During the violent protest, Israeli forces shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian man, Ali Shiouki, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli authorities acknowledged they had shot at a man who was part of a group that threw Molotov cocktails at them “while greatly endangering the soldiers’ lives.”

Saturday night and Sunday morning, police officers raided Jabel Mukaber, Issawiya, the Shuafat refugee camp and Silwan “in order to locate and arrest the rioters who threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, set fire to trash cans and blockaded streets,” according to a police statement.

“This planned operation was based on exact and high-quality intelligence,” police said.

At the same time, the IDF, along with the Border Police’s undercover unit and the Shin Bet security service, picked up two Palestinians.

One suspect was arrested in Fasayil, near Jericho in the Jordan Valley, on an unspecified charge.

The other — named by Arabic media as Qusay Abu Shehab — was picked up in Azzun, outside Hebron. He is suspected of being a member of the Hamas terrorist group, the army said.

During Abu Shehab’s arrest, security forces also confiscated an undisclosed amount of money they said was going to be used to fund terrorist activities.

Ahead of the upcoming Simhat Torah holiday, which starts Sunday at sundown, the IDF closed off the West Bank and Gaza to Palestinian travel for 48 hours.

The closure went into effect on Saturday at 11:59 p.m., and the checkpoints and crossings are expected to re-open on Monday at 11:59 p.m., dependent upon a “situational assessment,” the army said in a statement.

Exceptions would be made for medical emergencies and other “humanitarian cases,” dependent upon the approval of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the IDF said.

Security has been tight for this year’s Jewish High Holiday season, which began in early October, with fears of a new surge in violence.

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