Jews pelted with stones in Shuafat
Jerusalem Day celebrations lead to violent incident in Arab neighborhood, as 60 Jews take wrong turn while marching in capital, attacked with stones. One of walkers fires in air; group rescued by police. Earlier, dozens of leftists rally against 'Jerusalem Day bluff' in Sheikh Jarrah; two detained
The neighborhood's residents began hurling stones at the unwelcome visitors. One of the Jews, in his 20s, pulled out a gun and fired in the air. Police forces dispatched to the area removed the group to the French Hill area.
There were no reports of injuries. The police launched a search for the stone throwers.
The young man who fired the shots arrived at a police station to file a complaint and give a testimony about the stone throwing. The others continued to the Western Wall as part of the Jerusalem Day Flag Dance procession.
Earlier Wednesday, some 50 left-wing activists held a rally in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in protest of the eviction of Palestinian families and the entry of Jewish residents. Two of the demonstrators were detained.
According to the police, the protestors tried to interrupt the Flag Dance procession in honor of Jerusalem Day. A police officer declared the rally an illegal gathering, and the forces attempted to remove them from the area.
After the protestors clashed with the police forces, who they said acted violently towards them, two of the activists were arrested.
Clashing with police (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)
The protestors chanted, "No holiness in an occupied city." One of them, Avner Inbar, told Ynet: "We are protesting against the bluff called Jerusalem Day. We are here because a group of settlers has marked the place and turned it into a pilgrimage site. They come in groups on buses, and we are here as a buffer between them and the Palestinians."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Wednesday during a special Knesset session that, regretfully, only the religious sector marks Jerusalem Day.
"Jerusalem Day was created by law as a national holiday. And yet the nature of celebrations in Jerusalem and the identity of those dancing in the streets today teach us that the national holiday in its current form more resembles a sectorial holiday. To be honest, most of the main events in Jerusalem have long been held under the auspices of the religious public," he stated.
Ronen Medzini contributed to this report