Israel over the past week has arrested 72 Arab residents of Yerushalayim for their role in rioting over the past weeks, as Arabs demanded that Israel remove security measures from the entrances to Har HaBayis. Nightly riots have continued throughout July and August, even after the security measures were removed from Har HaBayis.
Riots took place throughout many Arab neighborhoods in Yerushalayim. Rioting Arabs, many wearing face masks, threw rocks, firebombs and other weapons at Israeli security forces. Arabs blocked streets and highways, and attacked Israeli civilians as well. Police and Border Guards responded with anti-riot measures.
Police and security forces filmed many of the incidents, and had a video record of the rioters. Using various computer intelligence systems, police were also able to determine the identities of masked rioters. Over the past week, police conducted two major roundups of rioters and terror suspects. Police have asked courts for remand extensions for 43 of the rioters. Among those arrested was an Arab who had planned to carry out a terror stabbing attack. As he was being arrested during a riot Tuesday night, the Arab threw a knife to the ground. Police dispersed rioters and seized the knife, and arrested the would-be terrorist.
Yerushalayim police chief Yoram Halevi said that “anyone who was involved in the riots and violence, directly or peripherally, will be brought to justice. The arrests, detentions, and upcoming indictments of rioters show our determination to pursue these criminals.”