According to a Channel 12 report on Friday, someone from the prime minister’s office told MP Itamar Ben Gvir that there was information that if he did not leave Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian terrorist groups in the Strip. Gaza could immediately fire rockets at Jerusalem.
On Thursday evening, Ben Gvir set up what he said was a parliamentary office in the neighborhood – a table under a canopy with a sign – in response to what he said was a lack of protection for Jewish families in the region.
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According to Channel 12, after receiving the warning, Ben Gvir continued to insist that the police presence in Sheikh Jarrah be increased, with the prime minister’s office subsequently contacting the police, who in turn said that ‘she was ready to strengthen her forces in the neighborhood. The network did not cite a source.
Ben Gvir, however, did not agree to leave the area until he received a call from the same unspecified person on Friday morning.
“There will be a permanent [police] presence there. Get out of there as fast as you can, ”the person reportedly said.
The network said the prime minister’s office would not comment on the report.
Far-right MP Itamar Ben Gvir (C) eats dried dates as he sits at the table in his makeshift “parliamentary office” (as described in Hebrew in the panel behind), in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, on May 6, 2021. To the left of Ben Gvir is Bentzi Gopstein, leader of the extremist group Lehava. (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)
The network also aired an interview with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, who urged politicians to act responsibly.
“It doesn’t matter for the moment of what [political] aside, because it has very, very serious consequences for the whole State of Israel, ”he said.
Pressed specifically about Ben Gvir, Shabtai replied, “I’m not in the names.”
Ben Gvir is a follower of the late extremist rabbi Meir Kahane and leader of the neo-Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit, which merged into religious Zionism ahead of the elections in an alliance advocated by Netanyahu. Ben Gvir spent many hours in court as a defendant in his youth before stepping down and continuing to represent ultra-nationalist Jews accused of carrying out racially motivated attacks against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. .
Sheikh Jarrah has seen rising tensions over the past week as dozens of Palestinians face deportation following a protracted legal battle with right-wing Israeli Jews trying to acquire property in the neighborhood, just north of the old city of Jerusalem.
Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered for nightly iftars – the meal organized after breaking the one-day fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – at long tables outside. Ben Gvir set up his table and awning in front of the iftar meal.
Footage from Thursday showed an Israeli spraying what appeared to be pepper spray on the Palestinian iftar table, which sparked a violent clash.
It started like this with gas sprayers for people sitting on the blockage pic.twitter.com/Nr1yJOehGu
– News from the Arab sector of Jerusalem اخبار مقدسية (@ Essawi2050) May 6, 2021
Video posted online later showed protesters on both sides throwing stones and chairs at each other, and Palestinians demolishing the awning, before police moved in. There were no reports of serious injuries.
– News here (@kann_news) May 6, 2021
Police arrested at least 15 people, all Palestinians. In one incident, an Israeli Jew fired in the air after a vehicle burned down.
Clashes in LArge erupted again in Sheikh Jarrah on Friday, as police arrested two people suspected of throwing stones. Violence also erupted on the nearby Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, with hundreds of Palestinian riots and dozens injured in clashes with police.
Tensions in Jerusalem, especially around the Old City, reached a boiling point last month after police prevented people from gathering outside the Damascus Gate at the start of Ramadan, which Arabs say , was an incendiary movement that obstructed a long-standing tradition of gathering at the site. during the Muslim holy month. The authorities subsequently rescinded the policy.
After some Palestinians filmed videos in which they attacked ultra-Orthodox passers-by, the Jewish supremacist group Lehava, whose leader Bentzi Gopstein was present in Sheikh Jarrah alongside Ben Gvir, responded by marching through downtown Jerusalem by calling for “Death to the Arabs” and in search of the Palestinians. to attack, leading to intense clashes.