Israel Hayom reports that 3,000 police are on hand to protect Israelis at Jerusalem Day events planned for Monday.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Palestinian Arabs attempted to turn Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the unification of the city, into ‘Riots Day’ as they engaged in violence in the Old City and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Monday.
Israeli police were forced to enter the Temple Mount area to curtail the violence. Arabs threw stones and launched fireworks at police. Twelve police were reported injured. The Red Crescent reports over 215 Arabs were injured. Scenes from the area, the holiest site in Judaism, looked like a war zone.
Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted that “extremist Palestinians planned well in advance to carry out riots” at the holy site. He attached photos from the compound showing piles of stones and wooden boards, weapons gathered for the rioters’ use.
The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has also become a flashpoint due to a case proceeding through the court system to evict eight Arab families living in homes in the area once owned by Jews. Violence broke out in the neighborhood on Sunday evening as Jerusalem Day began. A car was set on fire. Israeli police used stun grenades, water cannons and mounted troops to scatter the rioters.
The anti-Zionist Arab Joint List party held a press conference in Sheikh Jarrah at 1:30 p.m. in solidarity with the rioters, website N12 reports. The Religious Zionist party also made a statement at the location. Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben-Gvir recently set up a satellite office in Sheikh Jarrah.
Also on Monday, a Jewish driver lost control of his vehicle after it was stoned near the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Old City. He hit one of the rioters in the process. A policeman came to the driver’s rescue as rioters began beating him.
Israel Hayom reports that 3,000 police are on hand to protect Israelis at Jerusalem Day events planned for Monday. The main event is a flags march through the Old City which begins at 5:30 p.m. Police estimate 30,000 people will participate in the march, which passes through the Damascus Gate, the touchpoint of Arab violence over the last weeks.
Netanyahu said at a Jerusalem Day event on Monday, “A struggle is now being waged for the heart of Jerusalem. It is not a new struggle. It is the struggle between intolerance and tolerance, between law-breaking violence and law and order. This struggle is not new because it has been waged, in effect, over Jerusalem and the heart of Jerusalem for hundreds of years, since the rise of the three monotheistic faiths.”
AP contributed to this report.