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Video and Pictures of Jerusalem's Destroyed Light Rail

Images capture the scope of damage caused by rioting, which will take months to repair; 'price tag' calls 'death to the Jews.'
By Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 7/4/2014, 3:05 PM

As large-scale Arab riots continue to rage in Jerusalem for the third day running on Friday, newly released video and photographic evidence shows just how destructive the violence has been.

Arab mobs threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and firebombs at police starting Wednesday, after an Arab youth was found murdered; claims of Jewish "revenge" for the murder of three Israel teens sparked violence, despite the total lack of evidence for such claims.

Video taken from inside an IDF vehicle traveling along the Light Rail lines in north-eastern Jerusalem shows just how extensive the damage has been, highlighting the three stations that were destroyed by the riots on Wednesday.

The wanton destruction is likely to have a long-term negative economic impact on the affected communities where the rioters themselves live.

Officials have assessed that the three destroyed Light Rail stations will likely take months to repair, in the meantime cutting off transportation to the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina, where much of the rioting has been centered, among others.

The Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev to the north is likewise affected by the blow to transportation, although alternate means such as bus routes remain functional there.

Pictures from one of the destroyed stations with its torched ticket machines reveal Arab "price tag" vandalism, with the words "price tag" and "death to Israel, death to the Jews" scrawled in Hebrew on it in red paint. (There are those who claim past "price tag" vandalism was mostly staged by Arabs to incite against right-wing Jews.)

"Price tag" on destroyed Light Rail station Light Rail Spokesperson

Severe damage was also inflicted on the tracks themselves, with the rubber components being set on fire by Arab rioters, along with the destruction of traffic lights and various electricity and communications facilities.

Other images show yet more of the bombed-out stations, the tracks as they burn and the damage to them, as well as sewer holes wrenched open:

Evidence of the extensive damage Light Rail Spokesperson

Officials note that a full appraisal of the damage will not be possible until inspectors can safely access the scene; as of Friday that remained impossible with large-scale riots in full swing at several flashpoints in the capital city, including on the Temple Mount.

As noted the destructive riots broke out after the murder of an Arab youth, Mohammed Abu Khder.

Israeli leaders - including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - rushed to condemn the murder, giving life to claims that it was an act of Jewish "revenge" after the abduction and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha'ar and Eyal Yifrah, despite the lack of evidence supporting the claim.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as well as some in the international media, have since repeated those claims as fact, and Abbas's Fatah has since called for a violent "revolution."

However, great doubt was cast on the "revenge" theory after a Channel Two report noted Abu Khder's parents gave conflicting testimony to police over an alleged attempted kidnapping of their younger son the day before the murder. Mohammed's mother claimed that "settlers" had attempted to snatch the boy, while the father insisted the assailants were in fact Arabs.

A top-ranking retired police official told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday that the Abu Khder family is known to the police as a "problematic" family with severe internal conflicts, saying "I have no doubt that as time passes it will be clarified that the murder was criminal and nothing more."