J'lem riots resume; police back shooter
Police commander says guard who shot Silwan resident to death opened fire after encountering 'a dangerous ambush.' Massive security forces deployed in capital following incident. Molotov cocktails hurled at police officers, yeshiva and Jewish home; policewoman lightly hurt from stone
Franco told reporters that "according to an initial investigation, the guard encountered a preplanned ambush which put his life in danger, prompting him to open fire."
The guard was released from custody under limiting conditions after being questioned.
Meanwhile, the violent clashes in the city resumed Wednesday evening. A Molotov cocktail was hurled at the home of a Jewish family in Silwan. There were no reports of injuries, but the building sustained light damage.
Three Molotov cocktails were hurled at police officers deployed in the village. A policewoman was lightly injured from a stone. Four Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Beit Orot yeshiva near the neighborhood of At-Tur.
Franco briefed reporters on the violent incidents which followed the killing. "Throughout the day, the police attempted to ease the tensions and contacted Silwan's dignitaries and the killed man's family. As part of these efforts, the police approved a funeral process, which left from Silwan towards the Muslim cemetery near the Temple Mount."
Some 1,000 Palestinians attended the funeral, which sparked riots in the capital.
Bus pelted with stones during riots (Photo: Reuters)
According to the district commander, several Palestinians "took advantage of the police's permission to hold a funeral procession and began rioting. During the disturbances, four buses were badly damaged, as were private vehicles.
"At a later stage," Franco continued, "young Palestinians began hurling stones from the Temple Mount, forcing police forces to enter the Mount."
Massive police forces have been deployed in east Jerusalem and the Old City area in a bid to prevent an escalation. According to Franco, "We are continuing our dialogue with the killed man's family."
Despite reports of a young Israeli stabbed near Augusta Victoria Hospital, Franco stated that "according to a police investigation, this report is false and the young man was simply injured during the disturbances."
The riots died down for a while after a day of violent clashes, although sporadic disturbances continued in the neighborhoods of Issawiya, Silwan and Ras al-Amud.
Earlier, stones were thrown at two Israeli vehicles near Augusta Victoria Hospital. Three people were injured and evacuated from the area by police and Border Guard forces. Eight people were arrested on suspicion of rioting.
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