Tensions as Jerusalem Terrorist Funeral Begins

Netanyahu slams 'extremist Islamic elements' for inciting unrest, as terrorist who murdered a 3-month-old baby set to be buried.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Scene of light rail terror attack
Scene of light rail terror attack
Flash 90

Tension soared in east Jerusalem Sunday as stone-throwing Palestinians and police clashed ahead of a funeral for a Palestinian Arab terrorist who plowed his car into a crowd of Israelis, killing a baby.

Palestinian groups called for a march from the restive east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount starting at 17:00 pm (1500 GMT).

Tensions have been rising ahead of Sunday night's funeral for Abdelrahman Shaludi, the terrorist who drove into a Jerusalem crowd on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old girl and wounding six other people.

His funeral was due to take place at around 11:00 pm (2100 GMT) near Jerusalem's Old City walls, after it was delayed from Friday for security reasons.

Israeli authorities, fearing severe violence, are only allowing 20 mourners to attend and they have had to submit their names to police in advance.

Police said at least five Arab rioters were arrested late Saturday as nightly clashes continued across Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

The latest clashes were especially intense in Silwan, an area near Jerusalem's Old City and the City of David area, from where Shaludi hailed.

Police dispersed gangs of rock-throwing protesters, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, adding that there was scattered unrest again on Sunday morning.

Violence also flared in the areas of A-Tur, Beit Hanina, Shuafat and Ras al-Amoud, according to Israeli police and Palestinian groups.  

Undercover officers assisted by surveillance balloons across east Jerusalem brought the riots under control, an AFP correspondent said.

Shaludi was shot dead by police as he fled on foot from the scene of the terror attack on Wednesday that killed Chaya Zisel Braun, who was also a US national.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem's security forces were further reinforced with an extra 1,000 police and border police, including special forces.

"We will not allow the reality of Jerusalem to become one of throwing stones and firebombs, and disturbances," he said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu blamed "extremist Islamic elements" for being behind the attempts to "incite Israel's capital."

"We will use all the force necessary, resolutely and responsibly, to ensure they do not succeed," he vowed.

The IDF on Friday shot dead a Palestinian teenage rioter who had been about to hurl a firebomb at Israeli motorists near Ramallah.

Relatives of the dead 14-year-old, Orwa Hammad, said his funeral would also take place on Sunday, to allow his father time to travel from the United States where he is a resident citizen. Hammad was also a US national.

Washington has urged "all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank."

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also called for "a speedy and transparent investigation" into Hammad's death.

Restive neighborhood

In clashes on Saturday, Silwan (Shiloach) residents hurled rocks at a sanitation vehicle sent to clean up debris from stone-throwing the previous night.

In A-Tur on the Mount of Olives, masked Palestinians blocked the road with garbage bins and threw stones and fire bombs, while near Shuafat, rocks were thrown at the Jerusalem light railway, a frequent target.

Shiloach hit the headlines in the past month when Jewish families purchased another 35 apartments there, triggering anger from local Arabs opposed to the presence of Jews there.

On Friday, Israeli media reported that Housing Minister Uri Ariel was considering moving into Shiloach in solidarity with Jewish residents, who have faced regular attacks and harassment from Arab extremists.  

AFP contributed to this report.




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