13:18 IL: A photographer was injured by a rubber bullet in the rioting. She was transported to Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already spoken with Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich regarding the murder. The prime minister instructed the minister to use all resources available to solve the case and determine who and why the Arab male was killed. Aharonovich told the media there does appear to be a connection between the reported kidnapping in Beit Haninah earlier in the day and the burned body found in the Jerusalem Forest.
12:22 IL: Three light rail stations were badly damaged in the Beit Haninah rioting, which is ongoing. The security cameras at the stations were destroyed in the violence. The rioting is taking place on the main road in the area, with Arabs throwing explosives, firebombs, stones, pipes, bottles and more at police for hours. Police appear to be under orders to use restraint.
The rioting surrounds the discovery of an Arab teen in the Jerusalem Forest earlier in the day. The Arab community insists his murder was a nationalistic crime.
12:00 IL: Police reinforcements were sent to the Beit Haninah as Arab rioting continues including the use of rocks and firebombs against police.
10:07: Three pipe bombs were hurled at police. At least one exploded and an Arab male was injured and is being transferred to a hospital. The extent of his injuries is not known at this time. B’chasdei Hashem police were no injured. The violence is taking place in Shuafat, adjacent to the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood.
Earlier in the morning, Wednesday 4 Tammuz, police were pelted with rocks and bottles by Arabs in the Beit Haninah. The violence began amid reports an Arab male was abducted by “settlers” from that area and his burnt body was found in the Jerusalem Forest. The violence has subsided for the time being. However, light rail service has been limited to prevent it from passing through the northern Arab areas of the capital.
While there is a gag order on the discovery of the body, based on the limited information being released, it appears the murder was an internal family matter and in no way connected to “settlers”. Nevertheless, residents of Beit Haninah appear determined to riot and they continue the cat and mouse violence with police in that area.
Israel Police Chief Yochanan Danino has moved the department to its highest operational status in light of the discovery of the bodies of the three youths murdered by Hamas, Gilad Shar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach HY”D. Police remain on high alert today as well amid heightened tensions between Arabs and Jews.
In a related matter, the “death to Arabs” protest that began near the Chord’s Bridge in Yerushalayim on Tuesday continued for many hours. Hundreds of protestors marched towards Machane Yehuda but police prevented them from entering the shuk. From there they moved to Safra Square and police blocked them from trying to enter the Old City. Police on Wednesday morning reported 48 Jews were arrested during the hours of violence.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld reports the “incident” pertaining to the dead body in the Jerusalem is still under investigation and it is yet to be determined if it is criminal or nationalistic in nature. Police are still not willing to say with certainty that the disappearance of the 16-year-old male from Shuafat and the body found in the forest are one in the same. Jerusalem Police Chief Yossi Farenty is being briefed on progress in the case. Forensic experts are working the case along with ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) agents.
Har Habayis has been closed to visitors as police fear violence at that location.
In the Shomron, police are investigating a possible price tag attack as a number of Arab vehicles in a village south of Shechem were torched and graffiti was left in the area.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)