JERUSALEM March 20 (JMCC) - One of two entrances to Shufat refugee camp
was closed to vehicular traffic by Israeli soldiers Saturday, after heavy clashes one day earlier at the checkpoint that blocks the camp entrance.
Eyewitnesses said Friday that 15 young men were arrested after being holed up in an abandoned building outside the refugee camp. The youth emerged from their hiding place, faces bleeding, appearing to have been beaten by the arresting Israeli undercover units.
Clashes erupted in the camp after Friday prayers. Dozens of Palestinian youth threw stones at the Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance to the camp, and Israeli forces were called up to defend the position.
Confrontations were also reported Friday at Qalandiya
checkpoint between Ramallah
, Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amoud and Isawiyah
In Ras al-Amoud, Wadi Joz and the center of East Jerusalem's shopping
district, a number of Palestinians awoke Saturday morning to find that their cars had been
burned by Israeli assailants.
Jerusalem has been the site of repeated confrontations as Israeli settlement in the city has stepped up. Palestinians protested last week the inauguration of an Israeli synagogue, fearing that its opening would interfere with Muslim access to the nearby al-Aqsa mosque.
Israeli police have had a tight security cordon in place in the city since last Thursday. Muslim worshipers under the age of 50 have been prohibited from entering the mosque area, and some 3,000 police and security personnel checked Palestinians entering the walled Jerusalem Old City.
Religious officials reported that some 5,000 worshipers observed Friday prayers this week, a number dramatically lower than usual. No riots were reported at the sensitive holy site.