JERUSALEM — Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians in East Jerusalem overnight amid ongoing tensions almost a week after a car rammed a crowd waiting at a railway stop in the city, killing two. The epicenter of the unrest was Silwan, the hometown of the driver Abdel-Rahman Shaloudi, who was shot dead by police after he tried to flee the alleged attack. “Last night there were clashes all over the place, my kids were screaming from the tear gas couldn't breathe, couldn't sleep all night,” Ahmad Abbasi, a taxi driver from Silwan, told NBC News on Tuesday. “We were surprised that hundreds off [Israeli] border police and special units were on every corner.”
Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said that 1,000 police reinforcements had been sent to different areas of Jerusalem in the last five days, including Silwan. “Those forces are units who deal with riots and violent incidents,” he said. “The forces only react to events of disorder through using stun grenades and other riot control means but they don’t go into houses of residents unless there is a need to make an arrest.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to "use whatever force is necessary" to combat militant violence. On Monday, an official close to Netanyahu told NBC News on condition of anonymity that the government would expedite plans for around 1,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem. Palestinian officials and some members of the international community have criticized settlement building on territory that Palestinians hope will one day form part of an independent state.
- Lawahez Jabari and F. Brinley Bruton
Reuters contributed to this report.