Arabs Riot in Jerusalem on 'Day of Rage'

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Hundreds of masked Arabs burned tires and trash bins and hurled rocks at Israeli police and border guards at several locations around the city on Tuesday.

Rioters were responding to a declaration by Hamas and the Islamic Movement for a "day of rage" to protest the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

"We call on the Palestinian people to regard Tuesday as a day of rage against the occupation's procedures in Jerusalem against the al-Aksa mosque," Hamas said in a statement.

Police turned back two busloads of Muslims at a temporary roadblock set up on Route 6, who were suspected of planning to riot on the Temple Mount. One passenger was arrested after attacking a policeman who boarded the bus.

Police were deployed to quell rioting in Abu Dis, Silwan, Wadi Joz, Shuafat, Isawiya and in the Old City near the Majlis Gate.

Nearly 100 officers, some on horseback, used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse around 200 rock-throwing rioters in Wadi Joz.

Police pushed back dozens of Arabs blocking the Majlis Gate in the Old City.

By midday, some 42 Arabs had been arrested. The Red Crescent (Arab emergency rescue service) said they had treated 49 Arabs. 

Eight police officers were injured by rocks, and four were evacuated for futher treatment. 

Arab MK (members of Knesset) Ahmad Tibi claimed Israelis were trying "to judaize" east Jerusalem.

"There is a sense that they are trying to reoccupy east Jerusalem. We are here to protest what we call the judaization of Jerusalem," Tibi said.

"Anyone who claims there is freedom of worship cannot prevent Muslims from coming here to pray. It is obvious that the goal is to leave the al-Aksa Mosque without worshippers," he said.

Former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia warned that a third intifada (armed Palestinian uprising) was likely.

Qureia called Monday night's synagogue dedication part of Israel's "dangerous program" threatening the Arab population.

"If the situation remains at this level, regardless of whether we take the decision or not, [a third intifada] is coming if Israel continues these practices. It is coming," Qureia told reporters in Abu Dis.

Overnight Monday, Arab residents in Silwan threw Molotov cocktails at the Jewish residence of Beit Yehonatan, damaging the building.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Housing Minister Ariel Atias, who both spoke at Monday night's synagogue dedication, said Jews respect people of all religious backgrounds.

"I want to send a message of peace to all religions. I believe that precisely because we have twice experienced the pain of seeing our holy place destroyed, we know and will know how to preserve and respect the places of worship of other faiths. We will remember to be sensitive to their fears and needs," Barkat said.

"I want to say to our neighbors we respect your religion; you respect ours," Atias said.

"In this synagogue, they have prayed and we will pray for peace, three times a day," he said.

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