Riot in Shuafat, Jerusalem
Riot in Shuafat, JerusalemFlash 90

Firefighters called to deal with a fire in the outlying northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat were thanked for their efforts on Monday by Arabs hurling rocks at them.

The neighborhood is a middle class, well-to-do suburb of mostly Arab-Israelis, situated next to a lower class neighborhood and adjacent to the mostly Jewish Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood. An ancient synagogue was found in the neighborhood during archeological excavations.

Residents of the neighborhood had called the firefighters to extinguish a brush fire that threatened several homes in the area.

The firefighters battled the blaze for several hours before getting it under control and finally managing to put it out. But when they were done, the crowd of Arabs that had gathered to watch their efforts began hurling rocks at the firefighters.

Border Police officers were called to the scene to rescue the firefighters and they too were targeted by the attackers, but still managed to extract the firefighters to safety. No physical injuries were reported in the attack.

There have been a number of attacks on people who approach or enter the Shuafat neighborhood. 

Overnight Sunday into Monday, Arabs threw three firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at Israeli police who were patrolling near the neighborhood. 

Last Wednesday, a mob rioted in Shuafat. "About 200 youths threw stones and firebombs at the checkpoint, they were warded off by forces at the site who used tear gas," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told the AFP news agency.