US 'deeply concerned' by violent riots in Jerusalem

American embassy issues rare statement on disturbances in Jerusalem, calling for 'responsible voices to end incitement.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rioting in Jerusalem
Rioting in Jerusalem
צילום: דוברות המשטרה

The US Embassy in Jerusalem issued a statement Friday morning, expressing concern over riots in the Israeli capital city.

Following several days of Arab riots, including a string of violent attacks on Jewish demonstrators outside the Old City of Jerusalem Thursday night, the embassy issued the following statement, with translations in Hebrew and Arabic: “We are deeply concerned about the incidents of violence in Jerusalem over the last several days.”

“We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem.”

More than 50 Arab rioters were arrested during disturbances in the capital overnight.

In eastern Jerusalem, dozens of Arabs threw rocks at police forces, who used riot dispersal means to disperse the demonstrations. At the same time, an incident was reported in which a driver fired into the air after dozens of Arabs pelted his vehicle with rocks.

Hundreds of Arabs rioted at the Damascus Gate, throwing rocks and firebombs at police officers. The clashes continued even after police forces left the scene. In an incident near Herod's Gate, a Jewish driver was attacked while driving. When he tried to flee the scene, he was beaten and his car was torched.

A brawl also broke out in the Mahane Yehuda market in the city.

In another incident, dozens of young people threw rocks at police officers. Police and Border Police officers dispersed the rioters using riot dispersal means.

Earlier, the Jerusalem District Police, Border Police and many reinforcements deployed in mass numbers for the protest march that took place on Thursday evening from Safra Square to the Damascus Gate in the capital.

The forces, visible and undercover, were deployed in the protest area and other places in the city and will work to maintain order and prevent incidents of violence.

Hundreds of Jewish demonstrators began the march, with some shouting "may your village burn down", "Jewish blood is not cheap" and "death to the Arabs".

The police created a buffer between Jews and hundreds of Arabs who gathered near the Jews, throwing rocks and shooting fireworks at the forces.

Three suspects were arrested after being caught red-handed throwing rocks and shooting fireworks at police officers.

Even before the march began, police forces broke up riots near the Damascus Gate, during which Arabs throw stones and bottles at police officers. One officer was injured when he was struck by a stone thrown by an Arab rioter.