Youth arrests fan anger in Arab east Jerusalem

Palestinian teenagers taunt riot police at a barricade in east Jerusalem, just moments after stun grenades fired by Israeli security forces send stone-throwing youths scattering.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 26, 2014, 15:00 PM IST

Jerusalem: Palestinian teenagers taunt riot police at a barricade in east Jerusalem, just moments after stun grenades fired by Israeli security forces send stone-throwing youths scattering.

The arrests and alleged mistreatment of hundreds of young Palestinians have deepened anger in Arab parts of the Holy City following the killing of a 16-year-old by Jewish extremists in July.
Muadh and Mohammed Salaymeh have both been taken from their houses during the middle of the night for questioning.

"I've been arrested twice," said Muadh, 14.

"The first time I spent eight days in prison. They took me from my home at 4:00 am (Local time), searched me and questioned me. It was because I had been throwing stones."

Anger has also been building with the growing presence of Jewish settlers in Arab areas, and the feeling of disenfranchisement of Palestinians in Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
Walid Tuffaha, 18, said he had been arrested about 30 times in the past five years, most recently for protesting against the Gaza conflict.

"I'm out of prison now but have been sentenced to community service, working for the Israeli post office. But after I finish I won't be allowed to work for any Jewish companies. I won't find work, I'll get bored."

The Palestinian Prisoners Club's Jerusalem director Jerusalem Nasser Qaws said recidivism was inevitable.

"A kind of extremism develops in prison," he told AFP.

"When in the middle of the night, 20 Israeli soldiers come to a child's home to arrest him and treat him roughly, he's terrified," he said.

"The boys think, after there's a black mark on my name, why should I behave anymore?"

Police say they have arrested more than 700 Palestinians in east Jerusalem, including at least 250 minors, since July when Mohammed Abu Khder was murdered in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank

The murders, and the 50-day Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas that followed, sparked ongoing clashes that are symptomatic of the deep-seated tension in east Jerusalem.

"I've never seen violence as widespread and as persistent as it is now," said Daniel Seidemann, a prominent Israeli lawyer who tracks developments in east Jerusalem.