Tense Week in Jerusalem Ends With Stone-throwing, Arrests

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Near Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, October 24, 2014.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Israel Police arrested three people suspected of throwing stones and firecrackers at the end of prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Friday.

Police were on high alert following a volatile week in Jerusalem, in which a suspected Palestinian terrorist crashed his car into a light rail station on Wednesday, killing a baby and wounding seven others. Earlier in the week, dozens of Israeli settlers moved into the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Silwan.

Police had said they would limit entry to the Temple Mount compound to men above age 40 and women, after receiving information that Palestinian youths would cause disturbances and unrest.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday authorized police to bring in reinforcements from other cities and take a more aggressive approach in the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, in the wake of the escalating violence in the capital.

“As long as radicals on both sides continue to stir the pot, the situation will only get worse," Netanyahu said.

There were several disturbances in Jerusalem on Thursday, as Palestinians hurled stones at Israeli cars and police officers in the eastern part of the city, and in one case at the light rail in the neighborhood of Shuafat. Train windows were damaged, but no one was injured.

In another incident, a Palestinian woman was wounded in the Old City after being pelted with a stone.

Meanwhile, right-wing Israelis held a protest near the site of Wednesday's fatal attack, after which dozens of Jewish youths attacked Palestinian homes in the area. No one was injured, but 12 youths were detained.

Right-wingers also attacked a left-wing activist who removed a "Kahane was right" sticker from a window on the light rail, beating him and throwing him off the train. He was lightly hurt but did not require medical attention. The assailants fled when police arrived at the scene.

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