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Israeli Police Officers Injured As Violence Sweeps East Jerusalem

October 17, 1989
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Five police officers were injured and 11 Arabs were jailed in a day of rioting Monday that swept East Jerusalem.

The outburst climaxed several weeks of mounting tension in the city, marked by a wave of arson against Jewish-owned vehicles in western Jerusalem.

Three more cars were set on fire early Monday morning in the Gilo neighborhood.

The unrest reached a peak when dozens of Arab students poured out of Rashidiya High School, opposite Herod’s Gate in the Old City wall, and began stoning Israeli cars and police officers.

As rioting students blocked the roads, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them. The school was shut down.

Police Inspector General David Kraus said the school would stay shut “until the teachers and parents see to it that it is used only for studies.”

The authorities become deeply concerned when the intifada, now nearing the end of its second year, spills over from the West Bank into the city.

Palestinian activists have adopted new patterns of violence in the past month. The torching of Israeli cars is only one manifestation. There is also an increased presence of masked men to goad the population to rioting and civil disobedience.

Kraus, who beefed up the police force Monday, said it was time to change the security approach in the capital. He stressed the need for better intelligence work and more “sophisticated” methods to maintain calm in the municipal area.

The inspector general explained that his police would not apply the methods used by the Israel Defense Force in the administered territories because of the legal difference between East Jerusalem, which is an integral part of the state, and the territories, which are areas administered by the military.

He said that until now, existing police forces have been a sufficient deterrent, but that now reinforcements are necessary.

He urged the Jewish population to help the police by joining the civil guard and especially by organizing its own volunteers to guard parking lots against arsonists.

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