|A Palestinian youth hides, right, |
as he hurls stones at Israeli policemen
|A masked Palestinian hurls stones at Israeli police during clashes in Jerusalem's old city|
|Israeli policemen detain a Palestinian youth |
during clashes in the Arab neighbourhood
of Ras Al Amud in east Jerusalem
JERUSALEM - Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces clashed for a third straight day on Friday in annexed east Jerusalem, with Israeli police saying they have detained 18 for acts of violence.
On Friday evening several hundred people threw rocks at Israeli troops in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Issawiya following a rumour that a Palestinian baby had died from inhaling tear gas from an Israeli grenade fired the day before.
The rumour was broadcast from loudspeakers on top of mosques in the neighbourhood, with youths then setting tyres on fire and throwing rocks at Israeli forces, an AFP photographer said.
"There were minor incidents at Issawiya and Silwan, and we rapidly reestablished order," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Earlier Rosenfeld said 18 Palestinians had been arrested since Thursday night for suspicion of "involvement in acts of violence".
During the day Friday, violence erupted in the Arab districts of Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amud and Silwan, where youths hurled stones and sometimes petrol bombs at Israeli security forces, who retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas, according to AFP photographers.
"We mobilised several thousand men who will remain deployed -- largely in Jerusalem -- until the end of the festival of Sukkot" or the Feast of Tabernacles which ends next week, Rosenfeld said.
Two local leaders of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah were among those detained, the faction said in a statement, and vowed it would "continue fighting to protect the population" against Israeli settlers.
Stone-throwing youths also clashed with Israeli police in Arab east Jerusalem on Thursday, after a Jewish settlement guard shot dead a Palestinian the day before.
Police barred men under the age of 50 from joining Friday Muslim prayers at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is known to the Jews as the Temple Mount and is holy to both religions.
The Israeli military had already imposed a 10-day closure of the West Bank for Sukkot.
Such closures happen routinely during Jewish and Israeli national holidays when large numbers of people often gather in public places, heightening Israeli security concerns.