Daily Israel Report

Arab Riots Continue in Jerusalem, Policeman Hurt

Arabs rioted in northern Jerusalem on Sunday as MK Ben-Ari warned: police policy encourages violent attacks.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/4/2009, 10:40 PM / Last Update: 10/4/2009, 10:51 PM

Flash 90

Arabs rioted in northern Jerusalem on Sunday night. Near the French Hill neighborhood, a group of young Arab men burned tires and threw rocks at passing cars.

One border policeman was lightly wounded as officers brought the riot under control. Two of the attackers were arrested.

Similar riots took place last week on the Yom Kippur holiday.

Arab riots in Jerusalem have increased in frequency in recent weeks as Muslim clerics and the Palestinian Authority accuse Israel of attempting to take full control of the Temple Mount. Riots broke out on the Temple Mount itself last week when a small group of religious Jews visited the holy site.

Due to the fear of further riots, police have closed the Temple Mount to Jews until Tuesday at the earliest, and have limited Muslim access the site, allowing only men over the age of 50 and women of all ages.

Member of Knesset Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi – National Union) warned Sunday night that the Israel Police policy meant to avoid riots is actually fueling the violence.

"Closing the Temple Mount to Jewish worshippers due to Muslim riots is a reward for the rioters,” Ben-Ari said. By doing so, he said, police teach Muslim worshippers that violence is the most effective way to achieve their goals.

If the police want to reduce the frequency of riots, they need to punish Muslim rioters by closing the Temple Mount to Muslims – not Jews – when riots begin, Ben-Ari concluded.