September 29, 2010

Israeli police detain 24 in East Jerusalem


Ma’an - JERUSALEM – Israeli police detained 24 Palestinians from an East Jerusalem neighborhood on Tuesday, an official said.

Wad Hilwa Information Center director Jawad Siyam said several women and children in the Silwan neighborhood were briefly detained when Israeli military and police forces shut down the entrance to the Wad Hilwa area.

Palestinians were prevented from entering or exiting to enable settlers to move freely in the neighborhood, Siyam told Ma'an. Entrances were closed off when clashes erupted between settlers and residents, he said.

Locals said a settler assaulted a man on his way to work sparking a brief street scuffle between Palestinian residents and Israeli settlers who allegedly provoked passersby and assaulted them.

Siyam said Israeli police arrived shortly after the fight and closed off entrances to the neighborhood. He said tension was palpable and expected clashes as soldiers maintained a heavy presence on the streets.

Tensions have been rising in the flashpoint Jerusalem neighborhood since an Israeli settler guard killed a Palestinian man days earlier, sparking violent protests.

An Israeli police spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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