Police car firebombed in East Jerusalem, no injuries

Vehicle catches fire; security forces safely extracted; police searching for perpetrators

Protesters throwing stones at a car in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem in 2011. (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)
Protesters throwing stones at a car in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem in 2011. (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

An Israeli police vehicle was firebombed by Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Sunday night, causing damage but no injuries, police said.

The security personnel were safely extracted from the vehicle, which caught fire, according to a police statement.

There were no injuries.

Police were conducting searches in the area, which abuts the Old City, for the perpetrators, according to a statement.

The incident came after weeks of tension over new security measures at the Temple Mount had died down.

Israel installed the new security measures at the Temple Mount following a July 14 terror attack in which three Arab-Israelis shot dead two police officers using weapons smuggled into the site.

Muslim worshipers refused to enter the Temple Mount until the security installations at entrances to the site were removed, while protesters staged near-daily protests in and around East Jerusalem and the West Bank, some of which turned violent. Five Palestinians were killed.

A week after the Temple Mount terror attack, a Palestinian terrorist broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three members of a single family to death while they were preparing to celebrate the birth of a new grandson after Shabbat dinner. In a Facebook post hours before his spree, the terrorist cited the events surrounding the Temple Mount as a main motivator.

The crisis was contained two weeks ago when Israeli authorities removed the newly installed measures amid heavy pressure from Jordan, the custodian of the Temple Mount, and the Palestinians.

The site is revered by Jews as the home of two destroyed biblical Temples, and is the holiest site in Judaism. Known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), it is the third-holiest site of Islam and houses the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

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