Jerusalem police on high alert after clashes with Palestinians (ISRAEL HAYOM) Itsik Saban, Daniel Siryoti, Gadi Golan, Lilach Shoval, Israel Hayom Staff and News Agencies 02/26/12)
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Hundreds of Palestinians hurl stones at Israeli forces over the
weekend following calls on ultranationalist Jewish website for
Muslims to be removed from Temple Mount • IDF kills Palestinian
protester in West Bank village of al-Ram.
The Jerusalem District Police was on high alert Sunday morning for a
possible renewal of disturbances at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and in
the West Bank, following violent scuffles between Palestinian rioters
and the Israel Defense Forces and police on Friday, Army Radio
Jerusalem District Police Commander Niso Shaham said the rioting “was
the worst we have seen in the past two weeks,” and said the violence
was sparked by calls on an ultranationalist right-wing Jewish website
for Muslims to be removed from the Temple Mount, which is revered by
“There was a very grave incitement call on a website ... for the
destruction of the mosques on the Temple Mount and to cleanse it of
Muslims,” Shaham said. “The man responsible was questioned and the
website is no longer active. He is suspected of incitement and
The Jerusalem District Police commander said Islamic terrorist groups
headed by Hamas were responsible for initiating the violence.
The violence began on Friday when hundreds of Palestinians threw
stones at police and IDF forces at the Temple Mount. Some rioters
barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, forcing Israeli forces
to break into the compound. The protesters were then dispersed by
stun grenades. Eleven policeman were lightly injured by stones and
four rioters were arrested.
Following the riot at the Temple Mount, other clashes broke out in
the West Bank, near the Qalandia checkpoint, Hebron, and in the
village of al-Ram near Jerusalem. In al-Ram, IDF forces shot and
killed 25-year-old Talat Ramia after he hurled exploding fireworks at
them. Palestinian youths have recently began using exploding
fireworks to rattle — and potentially injure — Israeli forces. The
hand-held brown cylinders make a hissing noise and emit a stream of
sparks before they explode.
According to an initial investigation into the incident, soldiers
opened fire at Ramia in accordance with the IDF’s rules of engagement
after they believed their lives were at risk. Palestinians said Ramia
was shot in the chest by soldiers and blamed Israel for his death.
Six other Palestinians were injured in the incident.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces continued on
Saturday after Ramia’s funeral in al-Ram. Dozens of Palestinian
youths, some of them masked, hurled rocks and exploding firecrackers
at soldiers. They took cover behind barricades of overturned garbage
containers and black plumes of smoke from burning tires.
Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel pellets,
protecting themselves with plastic masks and shields. Conflicting
reports said between nine and 40 Palestinians were treated for tear
gas inhalation and rubber bullet wounds.
Ramia was the first Palestinian to die in a clash with Israeli
security forces after months of relative calm. Israeli-Palestinian
peacemaking has been deadlocked since late 2010.
Tensions have risen in the past month, however, and a number of
confrontations have taken place between protesters and Israeli
security forces at various locations in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Also Saturday, several days of Palestinian reconciliation talks in
Cairo ended without results, participants reported.
Political rivals Hamas and Fatah failed to reach agreement on the
composition of an interim unity government that would end more than
four years of separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza and
lead the Palestinians to elections.
Meanwhile, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired two Qassam rockets into
Israel early Sunday morning. The rockets exploded in open areas in
the Eshkol Regional Council and in the Western Negev. No injuries or
damages were reported.
The rocket attacks came after six rockets were fired into southern
Israeli communities over the weekend. One of the rockets exploded
near the security fence, while the rest landed in open spaces in the
Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damages were reported in
those incidents as well.
In response to the rocket fire, the Israel Air Force targeted and
struck overnight Thursday and overnight Saturday several terrorist
facilities, including a weapons manufacturing site and smuggling
tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.
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