Arab Reporter Assaulted in Sheikh Jarrah After Right-wing March; Two Arrested

Police arrests two Jewish suspects for assaulting a prominent Arabic-language journalist who had arrived in the East Jerusalem neighborhood after covering Jerusalem Day events

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
A car burns during clashes in Sheikh Jarrah, Sunday.
A car burns during clashes in Sheikh Jarrah, Sunday.Credit: Emil Salman
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Israeli police arrested two Jewish suspects on Monday for assaulting an Arab reporter in East Jerusalem after a right-wing march.

Clashes erupted in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday as young Jews attacked Arabs, homes and vehicles. The reporter, Iyad Harb, is a well-known journalist in Jerusalem reporting for the Arabic service of Israel's public broadcasting corporation, Kan.

Police, who are investigating the incident, said in a statement that they view any acts of violence as serious, but particularly violence directed toward reporters on the job.

"I had covered the events at the Damascus Gate and [then] came to Sheikh Jarrah," Harb told Haaretz. "When I arrived, I saw masked settlers who attacked me in my head, back and leg with sticks, breaking my glasses, stealing my phone and spraying me with pepper spray," he said. Harb was then taken to receive medical treatment.

More than 60 people were arrested Sunday on suspicion of involvement in clashes in the eastern part of the city, which includes the Old City. Police reported that five officers were injured during the clashes.

Over 3,000 police personnelwere deployed in Jerusalem trying to minimize the violent friction between the marchers and Arabs as tens of thousands of right-wing Israelis participated in the controversial Jerusalem Day Flag March in the Old City on Sunday.

The event marks the unification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem has been the scene of prior tension over efforts by Jewish groups to reclaim homes that had been owned by Jews prior to Israel's establishment, and in the process seeking to evict Palestinian residents.

On Sunday evening, Palestinians threw firebombs and stones at Israeli buses that mistakenly entered the Palestinian neighborhood of Isawiya. The buses were armored and were not carrying passengers at the time and no one was injured.

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