Palestinians Threw Firecrackers at Settlers, So Jerusalem Councilman Wants Them Shot

Incident comes amid wave of house demolitions in East Jerusalem

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Palestinian youths threw dozens of firecrackers on Tuesday at a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, prompting a city councilman to call for more lenient rules for Israeli security forces on opening fire.

No injuries or damage were reported in the incident at the settlement, located inside the Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, but a resident of the settlement, Aryeh King, who is also a member of the Jerusalem city council, called on Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to take action.

In a Facebook post, King urged Erdan to change the guidelines regarding opening fire to allow “shooting with the intention to harm those throwing fireworks.”

Also Monday overnight, the police made a series of arrests in East Jerusalem’s Isawiyah neighborhood, taking into custody 14 people suspected of throwing rocks and firebombs. Residents also threw fireworks at the police during the arrests.

There has been a wave of demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem over the past two days, with Israel tearing down four buildings in Isawiyah and one in Jabel Mukaber.

According to statistics gathered by the nonprofit organization Ir Amim, 104 homes in Palestinian neighborhoods have been demolished in the past year, compared to 72 the previous year. The increase can partially be attributed to Palestinians demolishing their own homes to keep them from being demolished by the municipality, which then charges the family for the cost of the demolition.

The figure for 2019 does not include another 72 homes that were demolished in July in Wadi al-Hummus, a suburb adjacent to Jerusalem. The Israeli army demolished the buildings after claiming they were too close to the separation barrier.

During one of the demolitions in Isawiyah, a resident documented a police officer overseeing the process donning a tallit – a Jewish prayer shawl – and praying as the bulldozer destroyed the house.