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Confrontations in East Jerusalem

Nov. 9, 2010 9:59 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 10, 2010 12:35 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Confrontations erupted on Tuesday morning between Israeli forces and hundreds of Palestinian school children in the East Jerusalem town of Al-Isawiya.

An Israeli police spokesman said workers from the Jerusalem municipality performing car safety checks were pelted with stones by local youth. He said the police responded and dispersed the young men.

Palestinian sources in the town said confrontations erupted after Israeli forces erected road-blocks at the eastern entrance of the residential area, preventing school children from accessing their classrooms.

When students attempted to cross the road blocks, locals said, police and border guards chased them away.

The clash followed three days of car safety checks in the neighborhood, which residents called "provocative," as Israeli municipal officials stopped cars on the street at road blocks, performing maintenance checks and writing tickets for cars deemed unfit for the road, creating long delays.

Residents questioned the use of the spot checks, citing mandatory maintenance tests every year for licenses to drive in Israel. Despite having passed the tests, locals said, most cars were said to have failed the spot check and were mandated to have service performed on them.

Tensions were high all over Jerusalem, with residents of the town of Silwan saying undercover officers entered the area and detained five young men while four others sustained bruises when they attempted to repel the officers, who entered a grocery store at Beir Ayyoub belonging to Hammouda Siyam.

As locals attempted to prevent the police, said to have been undercover at the time, from entering the shop, the officers threw tear-gas canisters inside and assaulted those attempting to prevent access.

Those detained were from the Zaytoun, Da’na, Al-Muhtasib and Ar-Razim families.

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