Sheikh Jarrah - Nir Hasson - March 4, 2011
Demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah, Friday, March 4, 2011. Photo by Nir Hasson
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Police arrested three left-wing protesters after clashes broke out with police during a weekly demonstration in the East Jerusalem of Sheikh Jarrah on Friday. Several protesters were also lightly injured in the clashes.

According to police reports, the confrontation began after demonstrators tried to march towards the homes of Jewish settlers living in the Arab neighborhood.

There were clashes in another East Jerusalem neighborhood earlier on Friday, after a special police patrol unit entered the neighborhood of Silwan.

Arab residents of the neighborhood were leaving Friday prayers when the police force entered, increasing tensions and leading to clashes between police and the Silwan residents.

"There was no need for police intervention. It was really strange." said Arik Ascherman, the head of Rabbis for Human rights, who was in Silwan at the time of the clashes.

During the ensuing clashes, police fired tear gas as Palestinians threw rocks.

A Jewish baby was mildly injured in the fray by a marble thrown by Palestinians into a settler's home in Silwan. The baby was treated at home and the Palestinian rabble-rousers were dispersed by police.

According to police reports this week, 2011 has seen a significant escalation in the number of violent confrontations in East Jerusalem.