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Photo: AFP
Stone throwing in Jerusalem
Photo: AFP

Jerusalem sees sharp increase in violent security incidents

580 incidents against both civilians and security forces recorded in June-July 2015, including hundreds of stone and firebomb throwing, as well as desecration of graves on the Mount of Olives.

Jerusalem has seen a sharp increase in violent security incidents, with 580 such incidents against civilians or security forces recorded over the past two months, according to new data released on Tuesday.

 

 

The data, gathered by the Construction Ministry, only includes security incidents that occurred in the Old City Basin - the three neighborhoods inside the walls: The Mount of Olives, Silwan and the City of David.

 

The data does not include security incidents that occurred in villages and neighborhoods in East Jerusalem - including Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Isawiya, Jebel Mukabar and others - meaning that the situation in the capital is likely much worse than this data indicates.

 

Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)

 

During June and July of 2015, 477 incidents of stone-throwing at vehicles were recorded, as well as 28 incidents of Molotov cocktail throwing at Jewish-owned vehicles and homes. Other incidents included hurling of empty glass bottles, firing fireworks and vandalism.

 

Out of the 359 incidents recorded in June, 213 were in the City of David, 125 were on the Mount of Olives and 21 in the Old City. In addition to throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails, four instances of tombstone desecration occurred on the Mount of Olives, while six Jews were attacked in the Old City (five civilians and one Border Policeman).

 

July saw a decline in incidents, with 108 of the total 221 incidents occurring in the City of David, 92 on the Mount of Olives, and 21 in the Old City. In addition to 170 cases of stone-throwing and 16 of Molotov cocktail throwing, one grave was desecrated, there were four instances of glass bottles being thrown at Jews in the Old City, and there were also several incidents of fireworks being fired at security forces.

 

Israeli car burning after being hit by a Molotov cocktail (Photo: AFP)
Israeli car burning after being hit by a Molotov cocktail (Photo: AFP)

 

Despite the decline noted in July, Jerusalem is still facing a difficult reality, in which not a day goes by without several violent incidents happening in the Old City Basin area.

 

Jerusalem city councilman Aryeh King claimed that the increasing terrorism in the city is happening because the political leadership "ties the hands of security forces."

 

He said police can't respond properly to violent incidents, while the judicial system either releases suspects or gives them lenient punishments.

 

He called on the government to open police stations in the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

 

Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)

 

Meanwhile, residents from the Ma'ale ha-Zeitim neighborhood started an organization called "Anti-Terror TV," that aims to document the violent incidents on video and distribute it to increase awareness of the situation in Jerusalem.

 

The Jerusalem Police said in response: "We are operating based on a plan that includes the deployment of increased forces, both covert and public activity, the incorporation of special units to conduct arrests and the incorporation of many technological measures against rioting in East Jerusalem, in order to protect the residents of the city and its visitors and increase their security.

 

Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)

 

"Police operates determinedly, and holds a dialogue with local leaders, which has led to an ongoing decline in stone and firebomb throwing incidents in recent months. Most of the violent incidents are done against security forces due to the friction with rioters in East Jerusalem neighborhoods.

 

"It's important to stress that despite the ongoing trend of decline, dealing with rioters cannot be done only by police enforcement. The violence is a general problem, and therefore should be handled by police, as well as the judicial system, the prosecution, the municipality, welfare, education and more - persistently and long-term."

 


פרסום ראשון: 08.26.15, 15:34
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