A vandalized shop in the Old City of Jerusalem, October 2017.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A shop located adjacent to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City was vandalized, and its worker attacked late overnight on Wednesday by Jewish worshipers who were returning from the Western Wall.
It was reported that hundreds of individuals stormed the shop - the only one that was left open that night - and attacked the local worker, Ibrahim Hashelmon, who was lightly wounded and was subsequently taken to a hospital.
Talking to Channel 10 News, Hashelmon said that the police, which has a permanent post right next to the shop, did not approach and arrived at the scene only after the damage was done.
“They threw an ice-cream refrigerator at me… They hit me in the head… The broke the whole place, and spilled soft drinks all over the floor. They took a fire fire extinguisher and hit with it on my head,” he said.
“I became dizzy and then puked. Only at the very end some policemen came and said that they will call an ambulance. It took them a while before they started pushing people away,” he said.
Police addressed the incident as a “quarrel between young people.”
“During the night it was reported that a fight broke between young people on Gai Street in the Old City, in which stones were thrown,” a police statement reads.
“[During which] damage was done to a store, a motorcycle and a car parking nearby. The police intervened and separated between the two sides. An investigation was launched.”
Police told the Jerusalem Post
that no arrests were carried out in this case so far.
Hatem Abu al-Daba’at, the owner of the shop told the Post
that the place was completely ruined by the rioters.
“All of my equipment, and all the refrigerators were ruined, and the place needs a full restoration,” he said.
Abu al-Daba’at said that it was the first time that his shop suffers this kind of harsh violence and vandalism.
“It was that first time that such thing happened for us. We know that usually when prayer-goers come back from the Kotel during holidays, they shout and curse, but normally the police stop them before they do anything,” he said.
“Yesterday they came and started throwing objects at Ibrahim the worker and the three costumers sitting there. They started hitting them, broke everything and shouted death to all Arabs,” he said. “I don't know why, but for some reason the police did not interfere and did not do anything.”
Left-wing organization Ir Amim criticized the police for not taking action.
“This is not the first time that the police is not doing its job to protect the Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem,” the NGO said in a statement. “If that is not enough, it added another wrongdoing by hurrying to put out a statement that hides they truth from the public about the assaulting of Palestinians.”
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