Israelis Complain of Being ‘Under Siege’ by Arab Fireworks

A man releases fireworks during celebrations in Gaza City in 2017. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem, File)

Police received hundreds of phone calls throughout the day Sunday, and Yerushalayim police arrested 22 people, as Arabs set off thousands, if not tens of thousands, of fireworks throughout Yehudah and Shomron. The reason for the “celebration” – the end of school and matriculation tests in the Palestinian Authority.

Residents of towns throughout Yehudah and Shomron, as well as in cities bordering Palestinian Authority-controlled areas – and especially in neighborhoods of northern and southern Yerushalayim – inundated police with demands that something be done. The fireworks lit the sky from early evening until well after midnight, with authorities apparently unwilling or unable to do anything about it. Residents complained to Channel 20 of feeling like they were “under siege, in the midst of a war.”

Police in Yerushalayim entered some neighborhoods to calm things down, and ended up arresting Arabs from Abu Tor, Jabel Mukhaber and Silwan. In one incident, police were targeted by an Arab they tried to detain with fireworks. No one was injured in that incident.

Overnight Sunday, security officials said they arrested 10 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.

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