Jerusalem man recounts Rosh Hashana mob attack

Unprovoked assault occurred as groups walked to Western Wall after observing tashlich.

The wood two-by-four with protruding nails used by one of several Arab assailants to assault one of the victims (photo credit: DANIEL K. EISENBUD)
The wood two-by-four with protruding nails used by one of several Arab assailants to assault one of the victims
(photo credit: DANIEL K. EISENBUD)
An evening of reflective group prayer turned into a living nightmare for several Jews on the second night of Rosh Hashana last Thursday, after they were violently attacked without provocation by a group of Arab assailants near Jerusalem’s City of David.
Chanan Kupietzky, a 25-yearold entrepreneur from Rehavia, said Wednesday that the attack unfolded shortly after 6 p.m.
when he and two other groups of people were walking toward the Western Wall after performing tashlich at the nearby Shiloah Pool.
“As we started walking up the hill on Ma’alot Ir David Street to go to the Wall, an Arab riding a horse came toward us several times, forcing us onto the side of the road,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “Then three or four men in their 40s and 50s on a rooftop of a home cursed us out, yelling ‘Son of a bitch!’ and ‘Dirty Jews!’” At this point, Kupietzky said a man in his 20s at a nearby food market was signaled by one of the men on the roof, and then walked aggressively toward him, his brother and a third companion.
“When he got to us he kicked my brother very, very hard on his leg, as two other Arabs recorded everything with video cameras,” he said. “I turned around, and as I did another Arab came running from the shop with a two-by-four with four rusty nails coming out of it and began hitting me in the head.”
Despite being armed with a pistol, Kupietzky, who has a gun license, said he did not brandish it because he was using his right hand to protect his head, and he feared it would be taken from him during the attack.
“Also, I was concerned that the Arabs recording the assault could have made it appear as if I started it,” he explained.
Meanwhile, as he and his brother were attacked, three other Arabs standing next to the market began throwing rocks at them, as well as families with strollers walking behind and ahead of him.
According to Kupietzky, a large rock struck a 50-year-old man who immigrated from France in the chest, wounding him.
As his brother called for help, Kupietzky said the three groups were besieged by another rock attack perpetrated by Arabs standing on a balcony on the other side of the street from the market.
“It was like an ambush,” he said. “Then a guy from the yeshiva I went to in the group behind us started screaming loudly, trying to scare them when another Arab guy came out from the shop and hit him in the head with a broomstick.
Then they were throwing bakery trays at us.”
While being repeatedly struck by the two-by-four, Kupietzky said he used his right hand to protect his head, until the weapon broke in half. At this point he said he screamed for the police and the assailants fled the scene.
Roughly three minutes later, as the Jewish groups approached the entrance to the City of David, an ambulance and police cars arrived at the scene, he said.
As paramedics treated his brother and the man struck in the chest for their light wounds, Kupietzky said he took police to the scene of the attack, where several rocks and the broken twoby- four remained in the street.
“The police surrounded the house where the rocks were thrown and searched the alley ways, but didn’t find them,” he said.
Kupietzky was subsequently transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where doctors treated light wounds to his head, hand and back and gave him a tetanus shot for the rusty nails that left several scars.
After being released around midnight, Kupietzky had X rays taken at Hadassah University Medical Center on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus three days later, followed by a Tuesday surgery for multiple fractures in his hand.
He said he wears a cast and will require six months of physical therapy.
Despite filing three police reports after the assault with his brother and the French man, he said no one has heard back from police.
Reached for comment on Wednesday, police spokesman Ch.-Insp. Micky Rosenfeld said an investigation into the assaults is ongoing as police continue to search for the suspects.