Street battles rage after Jerusalem attack

Violence flares in Jerusalem and occupied West Bank following attack on synagogue that left five dead.

Confrontations between protesters and Israeli police rocked Jerusalem throughout Tuesday [Getty Images]

Pitched street battles are being fought in Jerusalem in the aftermath of a deadly attack on a synagogue that killed five Israelis, with Palestinian youths facing off Israeli security forces across the tense city.

In the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal al-Mukaber – the hometown of the two Palestinians who carried out the attack on the Har Nof Synagogue on Tuesday morning – Israeli troops were confronted by angry Palestinians.

The Israeli troops were headed to the area to demolish the homes of the Abu Jamal cousins who carried out the synagogue attack.

Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from West Jerusalem, said the confrontation had so far prevented the Israelis from demolishing the homes.

“But it is pretty safe to say that it will eventually [be carried out]. All these lends to general unease in the East of Jerusalem which has really been brewing for sometime now,” he added.

At least 10 Palestinians were wounded in violence near al-Ram, a Jerusalem neighbourhood that has been cut off from the rest of the city by the Israeli separation wall.

Approximately 25 others were wounded in Sur Baher, south of Jerusalem, Palestinian medical sources told Al Jazeera.

Violence also flared in the occupied West Bank with Israeli settlers attacking a school in the village of Urif, south of Nablus.

Clashes ensued and at least five Palestinians were wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets while others were taken to hospital with tear-gas-related injuries.

Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian cars at bypass roads in the Hebron area, south of the West Bank.

Stabbed in the leg

Ramallah-based rights group Addameer said 10 members of the Abu Jamal family were arrested on Tuesday morning.

They included the parents and wife of Ghassan Muhammad Abu Jamal, and the mother, uncle and brother of Odai Abed Abu Jamal.

In the evening, a Palestinian man was stabbed in the leg in northern Jerusalem, according to Israeli police and Palestinian media reports.

Fadi Radwan was attacked near al-Musrara and taken to Hadassah Hospital, medics said.

Earlier, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, promised a harsh response to the synagogue attack and ordered the demolition of the homes of the the Abu Jamal cousins.

Israeli authorities had halted this practice in 2005, after a review committee determined it did not deter future attacks.

However, the tactic was renewed following the killing of three Israeli teens near a West Bank settlement this summer.

In an attempt to defuse tensions, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement condemning the killing of civilians on all sides. He also demanded a halt to “raids into Al-Aqsa [mosque]” and “settler provocation”.

Palestinians are angry at what they say are repeated attempts by right-wing Jews to extend their influence at the Muslim-run compound housing the mosque.

No to ‘religious war’

Nimmer Hammad, an Abbas aide, said the attack on the synagogue in Jerusalem was “unacceptable”.

“At the same time, we believe that if the Israeli government is genuinely interested in rectifying the situation, then it must work to stop all violations by Israeli settlers and Knesset members who go into Al-Aqsa practically every time accompanied by the army.”

In its weekly meeting, the Palestinian cabinet said the ongoing violence should not be turned into a religious war, and that holy places should be protected.

The cabinet also called on the international community to take immediate action to protect Palestinians against continued Israeli settler attacks.

Approximately 1,400 Palestinians in Jerusalem have been detained since the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammad Abu Khdeir by Israeli settlers in July, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society.


With reporting from Dalia Hatuqa in Ramallah, West Bank

Source: Al Jazeera