The Jerusalem Police have arrested four Arab youths aged 15-17, residents of the neighborhood of Issawiya in Jerusalem, on suspicion that they set parts of the French Hill gas station on fire and tried to blow up the fuel tanks there.

The Magistrates' Court in the capital extended their remand until Wednesday. The police intend to carry out additional arrests.

Early last week, dozens of Arabs rioted following the death of a Palestinian Arab youth who took part in earlier riots. They threw rocks and fire bombs at the station, destroyed the pumps and ransacked the convenience store.

They damaged the fuel pumps and security cameras, stealing oil from the station and spilling it on the road leading to Isawiya before fleeing the scene.

Firefighting crews managed to put out the fires the rioters lit in their attempt to blow up the gas station, and the oil on the road was covered with sand to prevent cars sliding out of control and crashing.

Jerusalem District Commander, Major General Yossi Parienti, told Knesset members who toured the Jerusalem seam line Thursday that Issawiya is a “very extremist” village that is highly sympathetic to the PFLP terror organization.

In the course of the tour, Jerusalem Councillor Aryeh King pointed to a cliff from which the houses of the Arab village of Issawiya overlook the old Maaleh Adumim road, and from which rock throwers regularly target Israelis. All of the houses on that cliff – including a five story building – were built illegally, he said, and courts have issued orders to demolish them, but police do not carry out the orders. The local Arabs, he explained, know that they can build illegally without being touched by police – and gather from this that they can also throw rocks without facing serious consequences. Therefore, no deterrence can be achieved.

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