Disturbances in Silwan

Molotov cocktails thrown in Silwan, 10 injured

After house demolition in King's Garden project announced, disturbances noted in Silwan streets for days straight. Some 200 people riot, throw stones, Molotov cocktails at police, Jewish house. 'Red line crossed,' says senior Border Guard official

Disturbances in Silwan continue. Some 200 people started rioted Sunday in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem. The rioters threw stones at dozens of Border Guard and police officers on the site. Six policemen were lightly injured, as were four security guards at the Jewish house.


Border Guard forces were dispatched to the area, and started dispersing the crowd with tear gas and stun grenades. They were pelted with stones.


The riots were a preview of what may happen if rightists carry out their threat of demolishing a structure called Abu-Nab, which was once a synagogue.  


They started when a few dozen Silwan residents attacked the building known as the "Honey House" in the neighborhood, hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at it. The security guards stationed at the building tried to stave off the rioters by firing rounds into the air, but to no avail.


But leftists and Palestinian residents of the neighborhood claim the violence began when private security guards attempted to gain entry into Abu-Nab, and upon finding it locked and impenetrable fired tear gas in through the windows.


One of the Jewish residents of the neighborhood said that Sunday's incidents are "a terrible failure on the police's part." According to him, local residents are not standing on the streets and throwing stones, but are taking over the neighborhood rooftops and waging their attack on Jewish homes and vehicles from there.


A senior Border Guard official told Ynet that the disturbances would be addressed during the week. "The rioters will be arrested," he said. "A red line was crossed here in terms of violent disturbances of the peace against civilians and police. We will catch the rioters, and the defense establishment will bring them to justice."


But Avner, a left-wing activist in contact with the Arab residents, said police were trying to create a provocation in order to keep from evicting the residents of Beit Yehonatan. "The residents there were dragged into violent conflict," he said.


"Police and the Border Guard have been patrolling there lately and trying to ignite the area after a peaceful protest we held there last Friday."


'Security guards taunted youths'

Nasrin Alian, of the Association for Civil Rights, said dozens of Palestinians were hurt in the clashes. "The settlers' security guards abuse the residents, because of MK Uri Ariel's threat that if Abu-Nab was not evacuated by July 4 they will clear it themselves," she said.


Alian added that the security guards had been taunting youths near Beit Yehonatan and the 'Honey House', causing them to rally and afterwards firing in every direction.


She said they had also fired tear gas into the house, forcing 40 residents out and causing a 5-year old girl and a pregnant woman to faint.


In the past day, two additional stone-throwing incidents were reported in Silwan. In one, residents of the village tried to attack an Israeli car with three small children traveling in the back seat. Ynet learned that a truck blocked the car's path, and then a group of residents showed up and pelted the car with rocks as the children cried in the back seat.


"I called the police. The operator told me to pull over. I yelled to her that I cannot drive because a truck is blocking my way. They broke almost all the windows in the car. Only by a miracle did we get out unharmed," said the driver.


Ever since the municipality decided to demolish some 20 homes in the area near the King's Garden, the residents have launched violent riots. The police reported that no day went by last week without attacks and stone-throwing.


פרסום ראשון: 06.27.10, 22:21
 new comment
This will delete your current comment