Arabs rampaged in Jerusalem overnight over the death of an Arab youth who succumbed to injuries sustained while rioting. Several Israelis were wounded and there was heavy damage to property.
Several violent incidents of rioting, assault and vandalism by Arabs rocked Israel’s capital throughout Sunday night.
The most explosive incident occurred at a gas station at the French Hill neighborhood, which is adjacent to Arab neighborhoods. Shortly after midnight, tens of Arab attackers threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the station, setting the complex on fire. They entered the convenience store at the station, broke windows and tried to set the premises on fire, while escaping with stolen merchandise and spilling oil on the street.
Firefighters fought a long battle to extinguish the blaze, and the station was heavily damaged. Maintenance crews covered the spilled oil with sand so as to eliminate the skidding of cars. In another incident, Arabs threw rocks at passing cars near the Old City; one Israeli motorist was wounded in the head and rushed to a hospital with light injuries. Police forces arrived on the scene to disperse the attackers. Later on, masked rioters threw stones at the forces and shot fireworks at them. Several police vehicles were damaged. Another Israeli motorist was hit by rockss in the A-Tur neighborhood.
Danger Faces Jerusalem’s Residents
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the rioting and violence and called on the security forces to take a strong and uncompromising stance against the rioters.
Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King arrived at the scene and was shocked by what he saw, saying: “The Muslim terror is raising its head in Jerusalem. A great disaster was averted tonight. If the gas would have caught fire and exploded, it would have caused a massive explosion, damaging the nearby homes. I was shocked by the destruction and by the danger which hovers above the heads of tens of thousands of Jerusalem’s residents.”
King criticized the police, explaining that they “were not on scene, even though there was preliminary intelligence regarding the possibility of riots, and even though there is a police station nearby. I call on the mayor to prepare a set of sanctions against the residents of the Arab neighborhoods who stood by and watched and did not try to eliminate the mega-terror attack perpetrated by residents of their neighborhoods.”
The rampage erupted after a 16-year-old Arab died Sunday of wounds he had sustained while rioting. His father claims he was shot in the head with a foam bullet, a non-violent crowd dispersal method. The police said that he was shot in the foot and then fell while fleeing, hitting his head on the pavement. Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld stated that Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut participated in a riot on August 31 in the Wadi Joz neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, when he was shot for throwing rocks at officers attempting to disperse the mob.
Jerusalem has been the scene of several violent attacks over the past months, including a terror attack in which an Arab drove his tractor into a bus, killing one Israeli. Since July, 80 stone-throwing attacks were recorded in Jerusalem. These incidents hinder the city’s pattern of life, which is enjoyed by all residents, Jews and non-Jews alike.
Author: Aryeh Savir Staff Writer, United with Israel