Jerusalem Day flag dance , 2009
Jerusalem Day flag dance , 2009Israel news photo: Flash 90

The police are considering closing off the Shechem and Lion's Gates of the Old City to Jews during the annual Jerusalem Day parade in two weeks. Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch told National Union Knesset Member Uri Ariel Tuesday that a final decision will be made after assessing the situation.

The annual parade features a “flag dance,” which is scheduled to pass through the gates. 

The Public Security Minister also acknowledged that “there has been an escalation in the number of firebomb and rock attacks by masked Arabs” in the Silwan area of Jerusalem. The City of David (Ir David) neighborhood and Beit Yehonatan are located in Silwan.

He assured MK Ariel that Silwan streets will remain open and added that police recently arrested three Arabs for causing heavy damage to a vehicle. One of the suspects was freed because he was a minor and under the legal age for punishment.

Among dozens of incidents of attacks on Jews in Jerusalem, several masked Arabs approached the car of a Jewish driver on the evening of Independence Day (Yom HaAtzma'ut) and damaged the vehicle with metal bars. He escaped injury.

In a separate attack, Yitzchak Levy said that his car was attacked with hundreds of stones, and that rioting Arabs broke the front windshield with a huge rock, causing light scratches to his 18-month-old child.