Jerusalem: Clashes erupted in Jerusalem
on Wednesday after a Jewish settlement guard shot dead a Palestinian
during a confrontation in a tense neighbourhood in the annexed
Arab eastern part of the city.
Several people were wounded as the violence flared
throughout the day, with Palestinians torching two vehicles
and Israeli police eventually entering the nearby flashpoint
Al-Aqsa mosque compound, sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
The violence came as negotiators were struggling to
reach a compromise on the impending end of a partial
settlement moratorium that threatens to torpedo
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks relaunched earlier this month.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the
fighting began when Arab residents of the Silwan neighbourhood
threw stones at the car of a security guard for a Jewish
"A guard responsible for protecting Jewish residents of
the neighbourhood opened fire with his pistol after his car
was attacked with stones," he said.
Witnesses said another two Palestinians were wounded in
the shooting, and several others were injured later as police
fired rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing protesters
in and around the neighbourhood.
The guard had opened fire after his car was stopped at a
barricade Palestinians had set up. He was later detained for
questioning, Rosenfeld said.
The man who was killed, Samir Serhan, had been detained
in the past for "participation in unrest," he added.
Palestinian residents and local officials said it was not
clear what sparked the violence, which erupted before dawn.
"We were awakened by the sound of gunfire at 4:00 am
local time and when we came down we found Samir`s body on the
front steps," a cousin of the victim, Samih Serhan, said,
adding that the dead man left behind five children.
Violence erupted again during the funeral march, with
Palestinian youths hurling stones at police cars and other
vehicles, setting two of them on fire, according to an AFP
Israeli police said the two cars were civilian vehicles,
and that three Israelis had been lightly wounded by the
Police later said they had entered the Al-Aqsa mosque
compound in pursuit of stone-throwing youth, adding that they
had not used "riot dispersal means."