Police, Arabs clash around Jerusalem

Friday, October 09, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli police and Arab Muslim residents of Jerusalem clashed in several parts of the Israeli capital on Friday, after Palestinian leaders and local Muslim clerics urged the Arabs to rise up in "defense of the Al Aksa Mosque."

The Arab leaders claimed that by restricting entry for Friday prayers atop the Temple Mount to Muslim men over the age of 50, Israel was laying siege to the mosques that occupy the biblical holy site. Israel regularly impalements such measures when intelligence suggests younger Arabs may be planning violence.

Israeli security forces managed to keep the Old City and Temple Mount area violence-free, but more raucous Arab elements did clash with police in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras al-Amud and Sur Baher.

In the Ras al-Amud confrontation, some 200 Israeli officers decked out in riot gear and shields had to push back thousands of stone throwing rioters. Once the police got close enough to buildings in the neighborhood, local women began throwing potted plants and stones at the Israelis from open windows and rooftop balconies.

Five Israeli officers were wounded in that clash.

In Sur Baher, which is near the Jerusalem-area kibbutz of Ramat Rachel, hundreds of Arabs hurled stones at police and tried to approach Jewish areas, but were stopped without injuries on either side.

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