Three Israelis were “lightly injured” by rocks thrown at them in two separate incidents in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, according to Israeli police, who responded by detaining a 15-year-old Palestinian suspect.
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that two Israelis driving in a car sustained light injuries and that their front windshield was damaged after a rock was thrown at their vehicle.A short while later, she said, a third Israeli was lightly injured by a thrown rock near Lion’s Gate in the Old City.
Israeli police “rushed to the scene” to conduct an investigation into the rock throwing, al-Samri said, which concluded in Israeli police chasing a 15-year-old Palestinian boy who allegedly threw rocks at Israeli forces as he tried to escape.
He was ultimately apprehended and taken in for interrogation.
Earlier in the day, more than 200 Israelis took to the Old City’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, restricting access for Palestinian Muslim worshipers to the holy site, while Israeli authorities meanwhile shut down passage between the occupied West Bank and Israel, as well as between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel, for the holiday.
Just a day prior, 10 Palestinians, all between 15 and 17 years old were, were detained after Israeli forces accused them of throwing rocks from the rooftop of their high school, which is located in the Old City.
The school has been raided multiple times over the past two weeks, though an official from the Palestinian Ministry of Education previously told Ma’an that the accusations of rock throwing were “bogus” due to the fact that there are security bars covering all the school’s windows, making it nearly impossible for students to throw anything out of them.
Israel detains hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone throwing every year, and Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, “93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months.”
Palestinian stone throwers face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities, with Israel passing a law last year setting sentences up to 20 years in prison for stone throwing if intent to harm could be proven, and a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.
Last month, Israeli courts sentenced four Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, including two minors, to prison for throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.