Friday, September 18, 2015

18-Sep-15: Jerusalem Watch | Ongoing violence

Jerusalem - Ras al-Amud last night: That's an Egged bus burning. The
driver escaped [Image Source]
In the Old City, the heightened state of alert continues to be in effect. In Ynet's words:
The turmoil in and around Al-Aqsa mosque in the past week, as well as intelligence indicating Arab youths intend to violently protest, led Jerusalem’s chief of police, Maj. Gen. Moshe Edri, to order the reinforcement... [via sending] a hefty contingent to the Temple Mount on Friday, in preparation for possible protests and riots after Muslim morning prayers conclude, as tensions in the city remain high... The entrance to the Temple Mount area on Friday will be restricted for Muslims to men over the age of 40 and women and girls of any age.  [Ynet today]
During Thursday evening in and around Jerusalem:
  • A bus driver was injured in the city when rocks were hurled at the bus he was driving near the Hizma checkpoint. His injuries were treated by a paramedic team on the spot, and he was sent to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center for further care.
  • A second bus incident: Haaretz says Palestinian Arabs "pelted the bus with stones as it was driving through East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood. The driver fled, but when he returned to the spot later with the police, they found that the bus was on fire, apparently after having been torched." Haaretz might have mentioned, but did not, that the driver is himself an Arab, working for Egged, the bus co-operative that provides most of the bus service in the nation's capital.
  • Firebombs (Molotov cocktails) were hurled from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of an Israel Defense Forces base on the outskirts of Jerusalem. A guard tower was damaged. 
On Friday:
  • Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, along with a number of other Palestinian groups, has called for a "day of rage" for Friday to coincide with weekly Muslim prayers after what they call an Israeli 'assault' on Muslim worshipers at the al-Aqsa mosque... [i24news, this morning]
  • Also from i24news: "Israel meanwhile, has accused Turkey of being responsible for the recent violence, reported Israel's Channel 2 news. According to the report, which cited unnamed Israeli leaders, Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri, who is currently living in Turkey, is responsible for organizing the violence from afar. The onus therefore, has fallen on the Turkish government for allowing al-Arouri to funnel large amounts of money to Hamas and their armed military wing from Turkey. Turkey has rejected the claims, saying that al-Arouri is no longer in Turkey."

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