YERUSHALAYIM - Thousands of Palestinians marked the anniversary of the death of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat on Thursday with marches, confrontations with security forces and attacks on Israeli vehicles in Yehudah and Shomron.
It was the first of two days of official mourning declared by the Palestinian Authority, of which Arafat was the first chairman.
Rocks and firebombs were hurled at Israeli civilian and military vehicles throughout the region. Dozens of drivers reported shattered windshields and other property damage, but b’chasdei Shamayim, no physical injuries were reported.
Early Thursday morning, the vehicle of the IDF commander in Gush Etzion was damaged by rocks.
Palestinians threw firebombs into the yards of private homes in the Nof neighborhood of Bet El. No injuries were reported.
Security forces were put on alert for the second day of mourning for Arafat.
Huge riots took place in Gush Etzion, on the road to both Israeli and Arab Tekoa. The road was blocked intermittently by hundreds of rock-throwing rioters who prevented Jewish residents from going to or leaving their homes.
Large army detachments dispersed the rioters using non-lethal riot equipment, including smoke bombs.
Also on Thursday, the IDF sealed off the bedroom of a Palestinian who acted as an accomplice in the Sarona Market terror attack which left four dead and 16 wounded in Tel Aviv on June 8.
IDF forces accompanied cement trucks to the home of Younis Ayash Musa Zayn’s home in the village of Yatta near Chevron.