Arabs stone university students, MDA ambulance in Isawiya

The group was visiting a friend near Mount Scopus when they were met with heavy rock throwing; police believe attack was planned in advance.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
November 5, 2010 15:23
2 minute read.
Masked youth throwing rocks in Silwan

Throwing rocks in silwan 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Youth from Isawiya threw stones at a car carrying four students who took a wrong turn out of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and found themselves lost in the Arab neighborhood on Friday night.

The students, from the Central region, reportedly asked a teenage resident for directions to Ben-Yehuda street in downtown Jerusalem, and the youth told them to keep driving straight.

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Within minutes, the students were surrounded by dozens of youth throwing rocks and bricks at their car, and when they tried to flee, they found the road had been blocked by chairs and a chainlink fence.

The students managed to contact the police, but by the time border policemen arrived the students had driven through the make-shift road block and had exited the neighborhood. Officers were able to disperse the stone-throwers, and no one was arrested. None of the students were hurt, though the car was damaged.

On Saturday night, residents of Isawiya threw rocks off a cliff at three vehicles, including two Magen David Adom ambulances, driving along the old road between French Hill and Ma’aleh Adumim. There were no injuries but the vehicles were lightly damaged. No one was arrested.

Stones have been thrown in east Jerusalem almost every day for the past six months, and dozens of Arab youth have been arrested. On October 8, David Be’eri, the head of the rightwing Ir David Foundation (Elad), hit (with his car) two boys who were throwing stones at his car in the Silwan neighborhood. The next week, youths threw stones at a van carrying Knesset members on a visit to the heavily fortified Jewish Beit Yehonatan apartment building in Silwan.

The Knesset’s Committee for the Rights of the Child convened a special meeting after the Be’eri incident to examine the problem of dealing with youth younger than 12, the age of criminal responsibility, who throw stones. Police are not able to bring children below this age in for questioning, though the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has documented police arresting children as young as eight.

Jerusalem District police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post last month that police are trying new strategies to deal with young kids throwing stones, including parental intervention.

In the four months from July to October, police documented 450 incidents of stone-throwing in east Jerusalem, about four per day. During that same period, police arrested 76 people for throwing rocks. Thirty were aged 12 to 18, and 46 were adults.


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