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Monday, March 17, 2008

Jewish religious extremists riot in East Jerusalem over Yeshiva terror hit

 Last update - 11:23 17/03/2008       
Top police officer slams police response to E. Jerusalem clash
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent and Reuters
A senior police officer on Monday criticized the police's response to clashes with right wing activists in the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber on Sunday, saying that police forces were not properly prepared for the confrontation.
On Sunday, right wing activists tried to storm the house of a terrorist who killed 8 yeshiva students in Jerusalem earlier this month. The activists succeeded in circumventing police barriers and entering Jabal Mukaber, where they proceeded to hurl rocks at homes, smashing windows and damaging solar water heaters. A police officer sustained light injuries when hit by a stone during the melee.
Police forces arrested 22 activists and one of them was carrying a knife.
Former Jerusalem district police commander Mickey Levy criticized the police force for failing to prevent the confrontation. He told Army Radio Monday that it is inconceivable that the police was taken by surprise with a demonstration that was advertised well in advance on posters across Jerusalem.
"The district police didn't need to be surprised. There was no need to collect intelligence ? it was right there in the palm of the hand. Appropriate preparation was called for in order to prevent the violent demonstration," Levy said in an interview.
In the aftermath of Sunday's violene, the police beefed up its presence in East Jerusalem Monday morning in anticipation of further clashes.
Police commander Amnon Alkalai, head of the Moriah sub-district, told Army Radio Monday morning that though the police had failed to prevent the entry of right wing extremists into the Arab village, he felt the police had not failed at their task. "We allowed them to demonstrate ? despite the fact that it was an illegal demonstration. I am always displeased when people and property are harmed, no matter who or why. There was serious unruliness and our officers were also hurt," he said.
Some 200 activists participated Sunday in the attempt to avenge the deaths of the eight victims of the Mercaz Harav yeshiva terror attack.
During a demonstration near the Armon Hanatziv promenade, right-wing groups called for the demolition of the house where the Palestinian terrorist's family lives. Hundreds of demonstrators marched towards the police blockage, holding signs and calling for revenge.
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon from the settlement of Elon Hamoreh spoke, demanding that the government carry out the demolition, as was done in the past to terrorist homes. Rightists interrupted his speech, yelling out that "the state won't do anything," and that they must carry out the demolition themselves.
Among the demonstrators were the Hirschfeld family, whose son was killed in the Mercaz Harav attack, Nadia Matar, one of the leaders of the right-wing organization Women in Green, and Baruch Marzel.

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