By Aryeh Savir
April 30–Tensions continue to rise as violent incidents have increased in the Old City of Jerusalem. Some 30 Arab rioters threw firecrackers at the Emet house there, confronting Border Police officers and throwing bottles and stones at them. One officer was lightly wounded.
Arabs threw stones at some 800 Israeli marchers who were participating in the monthly march around the Old City walls. No one there was injured. Minister of Construction Uri Ariel, who was one of the participants, stated that Israel’s sovereignty on the Temple Mount should not be destabilized and that the freedom of religious practice should be ensured for all faiths, including Jews. Regarding the recent violent incidents on the Temple Mount, Ariel said: “Unfortunately, Arab citizens are utilizing the holiness of the Temple Mount for political gain and are generating disturbances, breaking the peace time and again, and providing shelter for rioters. A sovereign state cannot tolerate such a breach of its sovereignty in this most holy of places, and I call on the Minister of Internal Security to not allow this situation to continue.” He added that it was inconceivable that Jews would be discriminated against on the Temple Mount.
Another incident took place as approximately 150 Arabs participated in the funeral of Amjad Al-Safdi, an Arab-Israeli lawyer who was arrested a few weeks ago by the GSS and police on suspicion of aiding the Hamas terrorist organization. Al-Safdi, who was released subject to house arrest, committed suicide. Commencing at the Temple Mount, the procession moved through the Old City, as marchers carried PLO and Hamas flags. At one point they passed by Israeli homes, and one of the mourners threw a glass bottle at a playground full of children and their parents. No one was injured, but security had everyone return to their homes until the end of the event.
In yet another incident, girls of the Popular Resistance Committees participated in a semi-military march yesterday afternoon near the homes of Israeli residents. The PRC is a coalition of various armed Palestinian factions that oppose the peace process with Israel. Active mostly in the Gaza Strip, the PRC is a terrorist group. The girls, aged 7—14, marched in uniform and carried the PRC and PLO flags.
Sarah Haetzni Cohen, chairwoman of the My Israel activist organization, told Tazpit News Agency of her concerns about this event. “This march is another grave incident taking place right under the nose of the police. This incident is one of many . . . undermining Israel’s sovereignty in our capital, Jerusalem. We call again on Minister of Interior Security Aharanovitch to take responsibility and ensure the safety of the residents of Jerusalem and the State of Israel.”
On April 23, Arabs threw stones at bus #65 on a main route in Jerusalem, right next to police national headquarters, injuring one of the passengers. The woman was transported to Hadassah Har Tzofim hospital. Several other passengers were treated for shock. (Tazpit News Agency) v