Netanyahu Demands End to Jerusalem Riots

Prime Minister tells security chiefs rock throwing and other violence must stop, and not just for the holidays.

Hezki Baruch, Gil Ronen ,

Arab rioters in Jerusalem (file)
Arab rioters in Jerusalem (file)
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened a high-level meeting Tuesday to discuss the ongoing rioting in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem.

Participating in the discussion were Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. Yohanan Danino, Jerusalem District Commander Major General Yossi Parienti, Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) Head Yoram Cohen, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, and State Attorney Shay Nitzan.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Netanyahu instructed security forces to beef up their presence in the areas of confrontation, and act with severity against rioters. The present situation must not be allowed to turn into a norm, he explained.

At the beginning of the debate, he said: "There have been events involving rock throwing, riots and violence of late. I think we have to take care of this, not just ahead of the holidays but in a thorough way.”

"The purpose of this meeting is to do it thoroughly. To see what forces, what abilities and what steps we need to take in order to safeguard the peace of Jerusalem,” he said.

Since July's murder of a Palestinian teen by Jewish extremists, carried out in revenge for the murder of three Jewish teens, and the start of counter-terror offensives in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Arab youths have been almost constantly on the streets of Jerusalem throwing rocks and fire bombs at police, motorists and public transport.

The violence has gotten so bad - sometimes even involving live gunfire - that many Jerusalem residents now refer to it as the "silent intifada".

Police said three officers were slightly injured Tuesday by rocks and bottles hurled by Arabs in eastern Jerusalem's walled Old City.

Police say they have arrested more than 700 Arab Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem since July, including at least 250 minors.

Police in the city are already out in numbers ahead of the week-long holiday of Sukkot, starting Wednesday evening, which swells the number of Jewish visitors to the Old City.