Arab 'Third Intifada' Underway?
(IsraelNN.com) A near-lynch by an Arab mob in Jerusalem ended without casualties on Monday, as rioters confronted soldiers in several locales. Arab students at Israeli universities held pro-Palestinian Authority demonstrations, as well.
Rioting, rock-throwing and firebomb attacks by Arab mobs were reported in several locations in municipal Jerusalem during the day. In one instance, two municipal workers escaped a lynch mob on Salah A-Din Street, a main road in the eastern part of the capital. On Monday night, they described the event to Mayor Uri Lupolianski.
Inspectors Ephraim Moshe and Chaya Eliyahu said they were driving down the street when they realized the road was blocked by flaming dumpsters. They were forced to stop and their vehicle was then attacked by dozens of Arab men, who hurled rocks through the windows and hit the sides of the car with metal rods. The two managed to escape after driving onto the sidewalk.
Eliyahu said that had they been able to, the Arab attackers "would have lynched us, not just the car."
"There's nothing to do about it," said Moshe, "because of what's happening in Gaza, it's easiest for them to take it out on us." He called on Jerusalem's Jews not to give in and to continue to travel in all parts of the city.
Mayor Lupolianski said the incident was quite serious and he called on police to catch the perpetrators as quickly as possible. "The municipality will not give in, but rather will continue to enforce the law and to provide service to all residents of the city - Arabs and Jews," he said.
In other incidents, Arab rioters attacked Border Police officers with rocks on Monday night in the village of Kalandia, north of Jerusalem. Police responded by firing at attackers' legs, hitting one of the men. The injured rioter's condition is not known.
Near the village of El-Aroub, between Hevron and Gush Etzion, attackers threw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli car. No one was hurt in the incident. An Arab rock-thrower was shot in the same area earlier in the day by an IDF soldier. The wounded man was part of a mob that stood aside the Tunnels Highway and stoned cars, lightly injuring an Israeli citizen.
In other incidents, an IDF officer was lightly wounded during a violent Arab riot outside Kalkilye, east of Kfar Saba. The officer was evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital. Arabs also stoned a car west of Ramallah around noontime Monday, causing damage but no injuries.
Residents of the PA-controlled city of Ramallah held a large demonstration in support of Fatah, of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and against the Israeli military operations in Gaza.
The Rioting and Attacks are Not Spontaneous
Israeli security sources say that the riots are not a spontaneous outpouring of rage over the events in Gaza, as they are often portrayed. Rather, the sources say, the unrest is organized and incited by those elements interested in "heating up" the Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria regions. Those behind the incitement are attempting to spark what some sources say may be a "third Intifada." %ad%
Alongside the violent riots and confrontations, relatively peaceful demonstrations were held by Arab students on the campuses of Haifa University and Jerusalem's Hebrew University. The students waved PLO flags and held signs condemning what they called Israeli "atrocities" in counter-terrorism operations against rocket-launching teams in Gaza. A smaller counter-demonstration of Israeli patriots was also held at Hebrew University, with students waving the national flag. A noticeable police presence kept the noisy demonstrators separated across a main thoroughfare at the school.