tourists visit mt. of olives 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian youths threw rocks at a tour bus near the Mount of Olives Monday
night, shattering one of the bus’s windows and lightly wounding a young
The bus’s 54 passengers were members of the Ashkelon branch of the
Zionist Council in Israel’s Eshkolot Project, who were participating in a
traditional High Holy Days pilgrimage.
According to passenger Yossi
Cohen, the group’s coordinator, the youths launched the rocks at approximately
8:15 p.m., when the bus passed Ammunition Hill and turned toward the entrance of
the Mount of Olives to visit an observation point.
“We heard a boom, and
a few seconds later, we realized what it was,” said Cohen on
Tuesday. “People began to scream and panic, and we saw one pane [of
glass] just shatter.”
The window that shattered was next to the young
girl’s seat, leaving her with light injuries.
After initially slowing
down to determine what had transpired, the driver then sped up until the bus was
in a safe area before calling police, who arrived within minutes, Cohen
“There was a lot of panic, and the police calmed everyone
down,” he said.
Following a group discussion, it was decided that the
passengers would continue their tour to the Western Wall to recite Selihot (the
penitential poems and prayers read in the period leading up to Yom Kippur).
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the attack on Tuesday, stating that
it had been one of “several stone-throwing incidents” in the area on
“Police deal with this almost daily in and around different Arab
neighborhoods,” he said.
Although the Committee for Protection of the
Mount of Olives said Tuesday that such attacks had ebbed in recent months, it
emphasized that there was still much to work to do to ensure safety.
organization is demanding the establishment of a police station in the area with
24-hour surveillance to prevent future attacks.