TEL AVIV (May. 24)
Five persons, including three policemen, were injured by a hand grenade thrown during a riot today in a slum quarter of southeastern Tel Aviv. The rioting by slum-dwellers, which began last night and resumed this morning, was aimed against the demolition of buildings erected without a municipal license.
About 300 helmeted policemen, re-enforced by border police units and fire brigades with water hoses, surrounded the area after local residents blocked demolition equipment with piles of burning tires and water-filled trenches.
The police, wielding truncheons and protecting themselves with plastic shields closed in on the rioters and were pelted with rocks and Molotov cocktails. A bull-dozer attempting to knock down a locksmith’s workshop allegedly built without license on a public lot, became stuck in a water-filled ditch. Police who surrounded the vehicle to protect it were attacked with a grenade and retreated. After the injured were removed. police closed off the demolition site permitting municipal workers to tear down the building by hand.
The local residents, claim that demolition orders, issued some time ago by Mayor Shlomo Lehat, were being carried out only in poor neighborhoods while illegally built houses in the wealthy northern districts of Tel Aviv were allowed to stand. Lehat said today that illegal structures would be demolished no matter where they are located.