Pre-dawn riots in Silwan subdued with no injuries

Riots broke out in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan before dawn on Thursday morning, ending a two-month period of calm.

The disturbances broke out after members of a Jewish family that owns a pathway in the area sought to take down an illegally built gate place on the path by Palestinian residents, police said. The gate leads to a mosque in the neighborhood.

A 2008 court decision granted ownership of the pathway to Jewish residents in the area.

Several Palestinian youths confronted the Jewish residents attempting to remove the gate, and a verbal altercation then quickly deteriorated into a riot as border policemen arrived, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post.

Stones, boulders and firebombs were hurled at police, while the mosque loudspeakers blared calls for local residents to come and protect the building.

“We used minimum force to disperse the rioters. Within an hour, things were back to normal.

Luckily, there were no injuries,” Rosenfeld said.

Rioters blocked roads and torched three vehicles. Fire crews were called out to the scene to douse the blazes.

Police maintained a large presence in and around the area throughout Thursday to prevent further unrest, Rosenfeld added.

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