Police arrested nine Arabs from east Jerusalem over the past week in connection
with a snowball attack against two haredim during the snowstorm a week and a
Jerusalem was covered in over 20 centimeters of snow in the
biggest storm since 1992.
A group of approximately 100 Arabs, mostly
teenagers, spent much of the morning hanging out at Damascus Gate and pelting
everyone who entered or exited the gate – Jews, Arabs and tourists alike – with
dozens of snowballs, despite pleas to stop from various parties, including one
woman with a baby carriage.
But the innocent snowball fight got out of
hand when two haredim tried to leave Damascus Gate and were accosted by
approximately 20 Arabs. The Arabs threw snowballs at them from less than a meter
away and tried to steal one of their hats, while shouting obscenities.
video taken of the incident went viral on Facebook with tens of thousands of
people expressing disgust.
On Wednesday, police arrested three suspects
and on Sunday night arrested six people from the Old City in connection
with the attack. Both minors and adults were taken into custody.
week, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of five of the
recently arrested Arabs for three days and released one 13 year-old to house
They are to reappear before the court on Monday. On Sunday, the
court extended the remand of six suspects.
Police also became aware of
the incident due to the video.
The two haredim in the video initially did
not file a complaint with police, according to Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel
“They didn’t want to complain, but then when the police
approached them they did file a complaint,” said Ben-Ruby.
that the police arrested the Arabs due to public outcry over the
“We didn’t arrest them because of public pressure; we wanted to
know what happened,” he said. “It was going up on YouTube, it was going down on
YouTube, we didn’t care, but we wanted to know what the haredim
E., one of the haredim who appeared in the video, told Ma’ariv
that he “wasn’t sure that he’d get out of there alive.”
He said that he
told his friend not to run away because he was worried it would escalate into a
lynching situation, or someone would pull a knife, but that he felt helpless
since there were so many people throwing snowballs at the two of them.