Rioters clash with police around Jerusalem over Temple Mount metal detectors
Suspect armed with Molotov cocktail arrested in Shuafat; demonstrators pelt cops with rocks at Qalandiya checkpoint
Rioters clashed with police and security forces at several sites around Jerusalem on Wednesday as Palestinians held a “day of rage” over new security measures at the Temple Mount in the Old City following a recent terror attack.
This was the fourth day in a row of protests as protesters threw rocks and fire bombs at Israeli forces. However, only several hundred demonstrators turned out despite the call for mass protests by the Palestinian Fatah party.
In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, rioters threw rocks at police in the area. Police arrested one masked suspect who threw a Molotov cocktail that exploded on the ground. The suspect was found to be in possession of another Molotov cocktail, police said in a statement.
At the Qalandiya checkpoint in East Jerusalem, dozens of protesters clashed with police and threw rocks at officers. Police responded with riot-dispersal measures, the statement said.
In addition, near to the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem, dozens of protesters gathered and threw rocks at police who employed riot-dispersal measures. Two rioters were arrested, police said.
There were no reports of injures in the clashes.
Metal detectors were set up in front of entrances to the Temple Mount as part of increased security measures after police said three Arab-Israeli attackers who emerged armed from the compound and shot dead two police officers just outside on Friday had stashed their weapons on the holy site.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will hold consultations about the continued use or removal of the metal detectors and Hebrew media reported that an agreement was under discussion with Muslim officials who administer the Temple Mount.
Following the terror attack Israel made the rare move of closing the compound while it searched for more weaponry there, reopening it to Muslims on Sunday and to non-Muslims on Monday.
The Fatah organization, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, had called for marches in the West Bank toward Israeli checkpoints in protest of the new measures and announced that Friday prayers, when many worshipers go to the Temple Mount, would be conducted in public squares instead.