Police clash with protesters in East Jerusalem for 3rd straight night
Cops report unrest in Silwan and Sur Baher as Rosh Hashanah holiday comes to a close
Police clashed with East Jerusalem protesters Tuesday night, authorities said, the latest confrontation amid days of unrest in the capital.
Police said demonstrators in the Sur Baher and Silwan neighborhoods hurled rocks and shot fireworks at officers and lit dumpsters on fire. Police said they used non-lethal means to disperse the protests.
Kan news reported Tuesday that police believed the unrest could continue for weeks, with law enforcement seeing a rise in incitement surrounding the Temple Mount.
Tuesday was the third night in a row of violence in the capital and came at the end of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
Monday saw dozens of masked rioters clash with officers at several locations across East Jerusalem, according to a police statement. No injuries or damage were reported. Border Police were deployed across the area to enforce order and clear the protesters using riot dispersal methods, police said.
Security forces remain on high alert amid a crackdown on terror groups in the West Bank, and concerns of terror attacks during the Jewish High Holidays.
Security presence has been bolstered in the West Bank and Jerusalem in order to deal with the mounting threats. In recent days, several violent clashes have occurred between Palestinians and police in East Jerusalem and in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
On Tuesday Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai toured the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“So far the incidents in Jerusalem have been contained,” Shabtai said. “We are ready for any scenario.”
Police said that while touring the Temple Mount and the rest of the Old City, Shabtai was briefed on the force’s “enhanced deployment” in Jerusalem and elsewhere over the High Holidays.
The presence of Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount is opposed by Palestinians and Hamas has warned of violent “repercussions” over visits during the High Holidays — which began Sunday evening and run into mid-October — when the number of Jews who tour the site typically rises.
The Gaza-ruling terror group regularly describes itself as the primary force defending the Temple Mount, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, against Israel.
The hilltop compound has long been the focus of tensions, but Palestinians have voiced increasing anger at the rising number of visits by Jews, which according to an activist group nearly doubled to a record high of over 50,000 during the past year.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and is revered as the location of both ancient Jewish temples. The compound is Islam’s third holiest site and is managed by Jordan — whom Israel captured the Old City and rest of East Jerusalem from in the 1967 Six Day War — as part of a delicate arrangement with the Jewish state.