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Police Deplore Old-city Violence

Violence by Jewish and Arab youths in and around Jerusalem Monday drew a strong response from police. Tear gas and baton charges were used to disperse Arab high school students who hurled rocks and debris at Israeli vehicles near the Givat Zev suburb and Ibrahamiye College on Mt. Scopus.

Three yeshiva students were arrested in the Old City after a fracas in the marketplace that put four Arab youths in hospitals. Eyewitnesses said at least seven yeshiva students engaged in a pushing and shoving match in the crowded area. Five of them reportedly bludgeoned Arab youths with clubs and were chased by police through winding streets and alleyways before three were caught.

Border police reinforcements were called in to help restore order. The police described the incident as “hooliganism” of a serious nature. The Jewish youths are students at the Shuva Banim yeshiva near the Moslem quarter of the Old City. Its student body has been involved in violent clashes with Arabs in the past.

Last winter, the fatal stabbing of one of the students, Eliahu Amedi, allegedly by an Arab, triggered several weeks of assaults and vandalism against local Arabs and their property. It spread from the Old City to a suburb of west Jerusalem where the victim had lived.

The yeshiva, which specializes in the religious training and rehabilitation of delinquent youths, has long been considered a trouble spot by police. Nevertheless, local authorities described Monday’s outbreaks in Jerusalem as mild compared to disturbances in the administered territories in recent weeks.

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