Sixteen Arrested in Two Separate Jerusalem Protests, Rocks Thrown Injuring Photographer and Cop

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Protests erupt against a light rail project on Jerusalem's fraught Bar Ilan Street.
Protests erupt against a light rail project on Jerusalem's fraught Bar Ilan Street.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Police officers arrested 16 demonstrators at two protests in Jerusalem on Monday, one of them a part of a continuing wave of protests against the death of an Israeli teen during a police chase in the West Bank, the other against a plan to run a light rail through an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood.

A demonstration at the Chords Bridge at the western entrance to the city, was the latest of weeks of protests against the death of Ahuvia Sandak, the teen who died last month during the police chase.

The other protest, on nearby Bar Ilan Street, was against a plan to install tracks for a light rail line there that opponents fear will alter the ultra-Orthodox character of the area.

A protester hurled a rock there at a photographer from the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, giving him a head injury that required treatment in hospital.

A police statement said dozens of demonstrators obstructed the Chords Bridge, which carries traffic from light rail trains and six were arrested. Later a demonstration was held on Bar Ilan Street, involving hundreds of people.

Demonstrators there threw rocks at the police, at cars and at passersby, the police said. Protesters also burned trash receptacles, damaged police and firefighting vehicles and blocked the street. One police officer was hit by a rock and required medical treatment. Ten demonstrators were arrested.

On Monday, Haaretz reported that the police were concerned that the protests would feed on one another and be reinforced by a separate wave of ultra-Orthodox demonstrations against health restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, thousands of protesters gathered to mark 30 days since Sandak’s death. He and others were in a car that police were pursuing on suspicion that they had been throwing stones at Palestinian motorists. The car overturned, killing Sandak.

Protesters accuse the police of ramming into the car. At Thursday’s protest, some demonstrators blocked streets and threw stones at Palestinians’ cars. According to the right-wing legal defense organization Honenu, police arrested 15 protesters one o f whom was slightly injured.

In the West Bank five incidents of violence targeting Palestinians have been reported in the last few days. A five-year-old boy was injured in the face by stones thrown at a car east of Ramallah.

Four vehicles were damaged by stones in Nabi Elias in the northern West Bank. Vehicles were also damaged near the settlements of Yitzhar, Shavei Shomron and in the Palestinian village of Jinsafut near Karnei Shomron.

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