Israeli police fired live rounds, tear gas, and stun grenades in a widespread Jerusalem street confrontation with Palestinians throwing stones, firecrackers, and firebombs. It was the worst unrest in the disputed city in months.
Tensions have escalated in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem after a suspected Palestinian attacker was shot dead at a checkpoint at the entrance of the Shuafat refugee camp earlier this week. Movement in and out of Shuafat, a neglected Jerusalem slum, has been restricted as soldiers search for the shooter.
Overnight street violence subsided by Thursday morning, as thousands of Jews flocked to Jerusalem to celebrate the week-long Sukkot holiday, which was escalating in East Jerusalem’s Old City, which was often the focus of tensions.
Clashes broke out between Israeli troops and Palestinians in around a dozen East Jerusalem areas.
Police said they arrested 23 Palestinians, half of whom were minors, during the unrest on Wednesday. Police said masked protesters hurled bombs, stones, and fireworks at officers. Video footage released by Israeli police showed burning a street littered with rubble and dustbins.
Police said that in some cases, the officers fired live against the protesters. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Police searches have further disrupted the lives of residents of Shuafat, an area that has long seen neglect at the hands of Israeli authorities. Police initially closed Shuafat’s entry and exit points. Since they have reopened, officers have been blocking every car going in and out of the city, creating a traffic jam and causing residents to die. The routine is getting disrupted.
In response, shops, businesses, and schools in East Jerusalem remained closed on Wednesday in protest against police measures and solidarity with Shuafat.
The escalation in violence in the megacity of Flashpoint comes amid rising pressures in the West Bank, where Israeli forces have been conducting darkness raids since the spring, which it says are an attempt to strike the terrorist network and baffle unborn attacks. Over 100 Palestinians have been killed, making this time the deadliest since 2015. Israel says utmost of those killed were terrorists, but original youth protesting infiltration and other civilians have also been killed.
Israel enthralled East Jerusalem along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East War and latterly enthralled that part of the megacity. It considers the entire megacity as its eternal, concentrated capital. The Palestinians sought homes for their intended independent state, with the eastern part of Jerusalem as their capital.