Israel said Thursday it has put Border Police reservists on alert as massive, violent riots that began a day earlier spread all across east Jerusalem.
Palestinians say they are protesting Israeli police raids in the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem’s eastern sector to hunt for a suspect in a deadly terror attack at a checkpoint on Saturday that killed a female Border Police officer Noa Lazar.
Riots and clashes that began late on Wednesday, continued well into the night, with Palestinians hurling rocks, firing fireworks at Jewish houses, throwing Molotov cocktails at cars, and assaulting security forces.
The rioters also set tires and garbage dumpsters on fire to block roads and entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
Two Israel Police officers were lightly wounded while attempting to disperse a violent riot in the neighborhood of Issawiya. The police suspected the injury was a result of shrapnel from pipe bombs thrown at the officers.
Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli security forces arrested five Palestinians during rioting across the eastern part of the capital.
As clashes continued into the early morning hours, Border Police troops and undercover personnel raided several houses of suspected rioters, arresting nine Palestinians.
At the end of a situational assessment, Border Police chief Deputy Commissioner Amir Cohen decided to place 10 reservist companies on alert in case the situation escalates further.
"We will continue to act with determination against violent rioters, we bolstered Jerusalem and the West Bank with troops to address such events," Cohen said.
Rocks were also thrown at Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion's vehicle as he was driving in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud to a city council member.
However, Lion denied it. "I trust the security forces who work day and night to make sure order is restored, and Jerusalem can return to holiday routine and host hundreds of thousands of visitors," Lion said.
Meanwhile, during the night, IDF forces accompanied dozens of Jewish worshippers who entered Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Palestinian militants opened fire at them as they entered the grave, but there were no casualties or damage to property.
In addition, a Jewish family of five, driving in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of east Jerusalem late on Wednesday, managed to escape a lynch mob.
The vehicle with the parents and their three children, including two babies, was attacked with stones and other objects that were thrown at them by Palestinian rioters after encountering an improvised roadblock. They were rescued unharmed, the police said.
The Palestinian factions in Jerusalem issued a statement calling for reinforcing the presence of rioters and protests against the alleged siege on the Shuafat refugee camp. They also called for mass prayers and declared Friday as "the day of rage" in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.