The Knesset’s winter session opened with a raucous emergency meeting of the
Committee on the Rights of the Child on Monday morning to discuss the issue of
Arab minors throwing rocks at cars in east Jerusalem.
RELATED:Elad director runs over rock-throwing youths in Silwan
The meeting was
organized after an incident on Friday in Silwan, when Elad head David Be’eri hit
and lightly injured two Arab children with his car as they were throwing rocks
“We don’t want to see any children injured, period,” said
committee head Danny Danon (Likud). “But we also don’t want to see children
involved in destructive activities.”
The meeting degenerated into yelling
matches between Arab MKs and MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union).
removed Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List-Ta’al) from the hearing after he
questioned, “Is this a committee in favor of children or settlers?” Ben-Ari
repeatedly called both Sanaa and MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) “terrorists” and told
Tibi to “go wear a dress with [Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi.”
said in the meeting, “Even a child, if he is endangering someone’s life, should
be shot at.”
Tibi retorted, saying “This meeting was organized because a
kid was thrown into the air, and you guys are like a party of drunk people who
have lost your heads!” said Tibi. He also called the east Jerusalem residents a
“group of fanatics.”
“This committee needs a psychiatrist – you guys are
all crazy,” he said.
Outside of the hearing, Sanaa told the media, “I
intend to complain to the head of the Knesset on the cynical use of the
committee, which has changed to be a committee in favor of settlers and not
“I will demand a concerned and objective discussion,” Sanaa
continued. “Instead of protecting children whose rights are being trampled,
discussions are being held about the rights of settlers who have nothing to do
in Silwan and in the Palestinian territories.”
Since July, there have
been 450 cases of rock-throwing in Silwan, with an average of four cases a day.
Border Police and policemen on patrol regularly face barrages of rocks. On
Monday afternoon, a border policeman was lightly injured near Beit HaDvash, a
Jewish-owned building in Silwan.
During that same period, the police
arrested 76 people for rock-throwing incidents in Jerusalem. Thirty were aged
12- 18 and 46 were adults. Of those arrested, 17 youths and 10 adults were
charged. Some of the youths are in detention, while others were put under house
Supt. Yoram Sa’ar, a youth officer for the Jerusalem district,
said that the police are doing everything possible to halt the rock-throwing
incidents, but the young age of the perpetrators makes stopping them
At the meeting, Jewish residents from east Jerusalem
neighborhoods, including Ma’aleh Zeitim and Beit Yonatan in Silwan shared
stories and videos of frequent rock-throwing incidents. The residents said
groups of children had been at the main intersection in Ras al-Amud near the
Mount of Olives cemetery every day for the previous two weeks, throwing rocks at
passing cars throughout the day.
Rock-throwing is nothing new in the
area, but it has intensified since a private security guard killed a Silwan
resident on September 22 after the latter threw rocks at the security vehicle
during an early morning patrol. Because of the high number of security cameras
in the area, almost every rock-throwing incident can be taped and made public
During the meeting, Sa’ar announced that the police
had arrested three suspects in connection to the Friday afternoon incident
involving Be’eri, the head of Elad, a group that runs the City of David
archeological park and financially supports 62 Jewish families in the Silwan
Be’eri was driving in the area on Friday afternoon with his
son when he was confronted by four youths throwing rocks at his
While trying to flee from the area, he accidentally hit two
of the youths, a Elad representative told The Jerusalem Post. The incident
prompted outcries from around the globe after photographs of the incident were
published in international media.
Be’eri was not present at the meeting
Meir Indor, the head of the Almagor Terror Victims
Association, testified about his experience on September 29.
that he was the target of a potential lynching on the road between the Mount of
Olives cemetery and Hebrew University when he was stuck in a traffic jam and
students from a nearby school pelted his car with rocks.
“This is an area
where Jews have been buried for 3,000 years, and now people are afraid to go to
the cemetery,” he said.
He said he had been at two funerals of terror
victims where people leaving the ceremony had been stoned at the same
“Both times it’s happened when the funerals end at the same
times as school lets out,” he said. “It’s like [rock-throwing] is part of their
“Every time a child throws a stone, they should arrest
the father,” Indor told the Post outside the meeting. “This worked in Judea and
Samaria, and it could work here.”
Following his attack, Indor is starting
a citizens’ forum to enforce security in the area near the Mount of Olives
During the meeting, Danon showed a series of photographs
depicting a boy walking to school with his backpack.
Along the way, the
boy would pick up large stones and throw them at cars.
Lack of police
presence or action by the authorities was a consistent complaint among the
Jewish residents of east Jerusalem.
“I stand on my balcony with the
Border Police and I watch the kids throwing rocks, and the police leave the
scene even before they stop. They don’t do anything to stop it... they were even
throwing rocks at 7:30 this morning!” Beit Yonatan resident Eldad Rabinovich
“The police is trying to prevent recurrences of these serious
events, with a response to the events in the field or in discussions with
factions in the area,” Sa’ar said.
He noted that when the suspect is
under 12, the age of criminal responsibility, the police talk to the child’s
The Committee for the Rights of the Child said that they will
appeal to the public security minister and the welfare and social services
minister to prepare action plans for young rioters and their families, as well
as review changes in legislation designed to punish parents of minors under 12
who participate in terrorist activities.Jerusalem Post staff contributed
to this report.