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Bombs and Rocks in Jerusalem as Rioting Continues

Clashes between police, Arab extremists escalate, as rioters throw pipe bombs; public transport modified until tension calms.
By Tova Dvorin and Orly Harari
First Publish: 7/2/2014, 5:10 PM / Last Update: 7/2/2014, 6:38 PM

Riot in Shuafat, 2.7.2014
Riot in Shuafat, 2.7.2014
Flash 90

Riots continue in Jerusalem on Wednesday, as dozens of Arab extremists are hurling projectiles at Israeli police after three light rail stops ablaze Wednesday morning in outrage over the murder of a 16-year-old Israeli Arab. 

The blazes were set in Shuafat, Asa-El and Beit Hanina, prompting the closure of the light rail in the and adjoining areas.

As of 4:30 pm Wednesday, a total of four improvised pipe bombs have been thrown at police in Ras Al-Amud; only one detonated. No injuries were reported. 

Rioters also threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at both police and Israeli press on the scene at Beit Hanina. One photojournalist and one press journalist were injured in those clashes; both have been taken to Mount Scopus hospital for treatment. The photojournalist is reportedly suffering from facial injuries. 

Light rail service in Jerusalem has shut down between Ammunition Hill and Pisgat Ze'ev in both directions a a result of the violence, although a "shuttle service" has been provided for travelers commuting between Ammunition Hill and the French Hill. Egged buses, however, are operating normally at this time. 

Several Arabs have been arrested in the course of the riots, including one rock-thrower and a man who attacked a security official for the Jerusalem Light Rail service. 

Wednesday evening, security officials stated to IDF Radio that security may be heightened throughout Judea and Samaria as well, out of fear that the rioting will spill over into a nationwide phenomenon. 

"These riots are disturbing the IDF," an official stated. "We think they may spill over to Kalandiya and Bitunia, so we are working closely with teams stationed in Shuafat." 

Violent backlash

Rioting and unrest have exploded in Jerusalem Wednesday in reaction to the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder, who was found in the Jerusalem Forest earlier Wednesday after allegedly being forced into a black car outside Beit Hanina. 

Israeli leaders - including the mayor of Jerusalem and Prime Minister Netanyahu - rushed to condemn the murder, after rumor circulated that it was the work of Jewish extremists looking for "revenge" over the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha'ar and Eyal Yifrah. 

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as well as some in the international media, have since repeated those claims as fact. But Israeli police have said it is far from clear at this point whether the attack was "nationalistic" or "criminal" in nature, and urged "responsibility" over reporting on it. without specifying further.

One retired police officer familiar with the family involved and the Beit Hanina area who spoke to Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity Wednesday afternoon stated that in his opinion the murder is most likely the work of internal clashes within the boy's family. 

But those claims remain unconfirmed as well, and the police investigation into the killing is still ongoing.



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Below: photos of burnt light rail lines



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