Elad director runs over rock-throwing youths in Silwan

East Jerusalem resident David Be'eri, claiming he was ambushed by Arabs, injures 2 kids with car; "He felt his life was in danger,” Elad spokesman says.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
October 8, 2010 17:49
2 minute read.
Settler leader hits rock throwing youths with car

Car hits child 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

 
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Two Arab children from the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem were injured after they were hit by a car driven by Elad director David Be’eri. Be’eri, head of a group that advocates for Jewish families to live in the predominantly Arab neighborhood, claimed that the youths were throwing rocks at his car and he hit them accidentally in an attempt to flee from the area.

“His car was surrounded with tens of people with rocks,” Elad spokesman Udi Ragones told The Jerusalem Post. “When they started throwing them, and he hit them when he tried to flee from the area. It seems that they were lying in wait and the ambush was planned with rocks, it may have even been a lynch situation. He felt his life was in danger.”

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An Al-Jazeera video clip and AFP photos from the incident show just four youths with rocks surrounding Be’eri’s car, and then two youths getting hit. One was lightly injured, and one was in moderate condition. Both were evacuated to Moqassed Hospital in the area.

Be’eri lives in the area and was on his way home with his son at the time of the incident, Ragones said. Be’eri was taken by the police for an investigation, and later released on bail. An investigation is ongoing, lead by an examiner with the police’s traffic division. Police are using photos from the incident in their investigation.

Ragones said the incident took place less than 100 meters from where a private Israeli guard for the Jewish residents shot and killed Samr Sirkhan, an Arab resident who was throwing stones, about three weeks ago. The shooting prompted widespread riots in east Jerusalem, which injured ten people. Over 50 Arab residents arrested in the week that followed for violent incidents.

Elad, a Hebrew acronym which means ‘To the City of David,’ is a right-wing group that has operated in Silwan since 1991. They support 62 Jewish families living in the area, and are not connected to the controversial Beit Yontaton building, home to an additional eight Jewish families. Elad also runs the City of David archeological park, which hosts more than 400,000 visitors per year.

Be’eri, 57, established the City of David foundation in 1986 to explore ruins from the Second Temple period. Since then, the archeological dig has angered Silwan’s Arab residents, who accuse the organization of making a land grab.

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