Jerusalem: New Police Task Force to Combat Riots

As 'silent intifada' rages with attacks against Jewish residents and Israeli security forces, police chief pledges new push to end violence.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Com. Yohanan Danino
Com. Yohanan Danino
Flash90

Israel's top police officer on Tuesday pledged a new task force to combat ongoing violence in Jerusalem, after Arab extremists hurled Molotov cocktails at an apartment purchased by Jewish families in an attempt to drive them out just hours after they moved in.

"We are moving ahead with a comprehensive program incorporating the latest technology, intelligence gathering and the establishment of a new police unit for dealing with incidents," Commissioner Yohanan Danino told officers.

"Jerusalem residents are entitled to a high level of personal security...and the issue is at the top of Israel Police's priorities," he said in remarks carried on the force's official Twitter feed.  

No one was injured in the incident in the Kfar Shiloach neighborhood (known as Silwan in Arabic) late on Monday, which saw a group of Palestinians firing flares and throwing petrol bombs at the building, a police statement said.

No serious damage was caused and no arrests were made.

The building was one of two structures housing 10 apartments that were purchased by Jews before dawn on Monday, sparking fierce opposition from Arab locals who oppose any Jewish presence in the area.

The neighborhood is located adjacent to the City of David, an area thought to be the heart of the Jewish capital in Biblical times located just south of the Old City.

The families took residency in nine housing units in "Beit Ovadia" and "Beit Frumkin," located in the "Yemenite Village" area of Shiloach that was founded by Jewish immigrants from Yemen in the 1880s, who were later expelled by the British in 1938 following violent Arab rioting.

Arab extremists have rioting and carrying out violent attacks in Jerusalem on a daily basis for months, in what many local residents refer to as a "silent intifada". Rioters have targeted police, as well as Jewish residents of the capital. 

Islamist activists on the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - have also upped a campaign of harassment and intimidation of Jewish visitors, egged on by incendiary statements by prominent Muslim figures including PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Danino on Tuesday vowed to restore order.

"We cannot ignore public disorder incidents; stone-throwing, attacks with fireworks, throwing of petrol bombs, which characterise riots on Temple Mount and other areas in the city and its surroundings," he said.  

Clashes in Shiloach also erupted three weeks ago after Jewish families moved into more than 25 apartments in the area that they purchased from local Arabs.

AFP contributed to this report




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