Protest in Jerusalem calling for revenge after three missing teens found dead.
(photo credit: NEWS 24)
Shouts of slogans such as “Revenge” and “Death to Arabs” could be heard through the streets of Jerusalem on Tuesday as a violent protest swept the city.
What began as a gathering of about 50 people quickly turned into a crowd of about 1,000, as angry protesters marched from the Bridge of Strings through the streets in response to the murders of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, whose bodies were found the day before.
“Three innocent guys were murdered by people for no f**king reason,” participant Shmuel Angel said. “They’re not even people, they’re animals.”
A group of supporters dressed in face masks were seen reenacting the kidnapping, which sparked sharp reactions within the crowd.
“Jewish blood is not expendable,” Noa Ben-Hamo from Givat Ze’ev said.
Demonstrators plastered blocked cars and buses with stickers reading, “We demand revenge.”
The protest turned violent after the crowd obstructed traffic and resisted police orders to keep off the roads. Several people were lightly injured in clashes with police, including one young man whose skull was cracked and required medical attention.
An Arab man in a car was spat on through the window by a protester, creating an uproar within the crowd, which began screaming and running toward the police, who in turn arrested almost 30 people.
“You should be arresting Arabs, not these little boys,” shouted one girl as her friend was pushed up against the wall.
The mob moved downtown along Jaffa Road, continuing to block traffic as it went.
Several protesters tried to climb onto the lightrail carriages but were stopped by the police.
A candy store near the Haturim light rail station was ransacked, as protesters believed that the owners were Arabs. Outside the shop, two small children cried, but the owner calmed them down, saying that it was “okay” and that the rioters were “just very upset.”
Police and Border Police blocked rioters from entering the Mahaneh Yehuda market out of concern for its Arab vendors.
“Now they [Arabs] are not scared, they can do whatever they want,” protester Sara Maya said in response to the kidnapping. “We want something where they will really be scared, they will think twice before they do something.”
The demonstration continued down to Zion Square and eventually stopped at Zahal Square, where protesters were halted by helicopters and police who threatened to use water hoses.
People screamed and sprinted, trampling others along the way.
“I thought there was a bomb or that a terrorist had gotten in the midst of everyone,” Liora Baram said.
Not all participants were in favor of the violence that some protesters called for against Arabs.
“We are against violence,” said Ben-Hamo. “We just came for the protest and not for the violence.”
Observer Gila Friedgut said she agreed with the message but not with the delivery method. “We need to make some noise but need to do it intelligently,” she said.
Across Jerusalem, people said they were alarmed by the riot. “I haven’t seen this kind of hatred in a while,” said one observer from the light rail. “People are using recent events to turn everyone against a group of people who aren’t responsible.
“These people are our neighbors,” he said.