Arab rioters in Jerusalem burn tires, block major roads

Rioters in eastern Jerusalem burn tires, dumpsters and block major thoroughfares; dozens arrested by police, as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir pledges ‘no surrender’ to terror.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced a crackdown on unrest in eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and warned that Israel will not acquiesce to terrorists’ demands, after rioters in the area caused disturbances early Sunday morning.

Locals were angered by Ben-Gvir’s decision to hold onto the body of Khairi Alqam, a 21-year-old terrorist from eastern Jerusalem, who murdered seven Jews on international Holocaust Remembrance Day near a synagogue in Neve Yaakov.

Alqam was shot dead by police officers some 20 minutes after beginning his deadly rampage.

Out of concern that terrorists’ funerals inspire copycat attacks, Israel sometimes returns the bodies of terrorists only months after they are killed.

There are often restrictions put in place in exchange for the return of the body, including that the funeral be held late at night or early in the morning, with limits on the number of attendees.

Rioters called for a one-day strike in protest of Israel’s refusal to return Alqam’s body to his family.

Numerous young men took to the streets in the early hours of Sunday morning to block paths in and out of neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, including Shuafat, Issawiya, Jabal Mukabar and Silwan.

Read  IDF kills terrorists who murdered Lucy Dee and her daughters

They burned tires and dumpsters throughout the area, as well as fought with locals who did not want to participate in the strike and attempted to leave the neighborhoods so they could go to work.

Security forces arrested dozens of rioters and cleared the roadblocks.

“I instructed the police to continue Operation Concentrated Effort in eastern Jerusalem,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement on Sunday. “The police have been working since the early hours of the morning to remove the blockades – and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the police and soldiers.”

Ben-Gvir stressed that “the State of Israel will not surrender to a handful of terrorists,” calling the rioters “criminal instigators” who are trying to create “anarchy” in eastern Jerusalem. He also emphasized that “the Israel Police must show a heavy hand and zero tolerance towards these lawbreakers.”

Following the killing of a Border Police officer in eastern Jerusalem by a 13-year-old terrorist, from the Shuafat neighborhood, Ben-Gvir announced that Israeli security forces would step up their efforts to preserve law and order in the area, including demolishing illegally built structures.