Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Confrontations in Jerusalem
Confrontations erupted on Tuesday morning between Israeli forces and hundreds of Palestinian school children in the East Jerusalem town of Al-Isawiya. According to the Israeli police workers from the Jerusalem municipality were performing car safety checks when they were pelted with stones by local youth. However,
Palestinian sources in the town said that the confrontations erupted after Israeli forces erected road-blocks at the eastern entrance of the residential area, preventing school children from accessing their classrooms. When students attempted to cross the road blocks, locals said, police and border guards chased them away.
The clash followed three days of car safety checks in the neighborhood, which residents called "provocative," as Israeli municipal officials stopped cars on the street at road blocks, performing maintenance checks and writing tickets for cars deemed unfit for the road, creating long delays. Residents questioned the use of the spot checks, citing mandatory maintenance tests every year for licenses to drive in Israel. Despite having passed the tests, locals said, most cars were said to have failed the spot check and were mandated to have service performed on them.
Tensions were high all over Jerusalem, particularly in Silwan, where police a few days ago, in a blitz operation at dawn, took away the memorial that had been erected by the inhabitants for Same Sarhan (32), who was killed on 22 September by an armed guard of the settlers in the area. That happened after Knessetmember Miri Regev, a member of Likud and a former spokeswoman for the army, complained about the monument and demanded from mayor Barkat that he would remove it. (The guard that killed Srahan is still free and on duty in the neighbourhood).
Residents of Silwan said that undercover officers entered the area on Tuesday and detained five young men while four others sustained bruises when they attempted to repel the officers, who entered a grocery store at Beir Ayyoub belonging to Hammouda Siyam. As locals attempted to prevent the police, said to have been undercover at the time, from entering the shop, the officers threw tear-gas canisters inside and assaulted those attempting to prevent access.