Youths injure two Arabs in Jerusalem assault

Man who came to defense of e. Jerusalem residents: "They almost killed me; it was an insane mob."

Arab Israelis 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Arab Israelis 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Several hours after Tuesday's terror attack in Jerusalem, a group of youths assaulted two east Jerusalem residents, Army Radio reported. The incident occurred in the Makor Baruch neighborhood, home to both Orthodox learning institutions, and hardware stores and other such outlets that draw many Arab shoppers and employees. According to eyewitnesses, two battered and bleeding Arabs barged into the yard of a family sitting shiva (the seven-day Jewish mourning period), followed by a mob of furious yeshiva students. The family of the house protected the two men and repelled the mob. One member of the family said students had yelled at him from the balcony of the yeshiva, which overlooks the house, calling to "kill Jews who protect Arabs." The two east Jerusalem residents were taken to the capital's Hadassah-University Hospital for treatment. The family that protected them remained mostly unscathed, but one of them was also attacked. "They would have killed me if they could have," he said. He said the two men had told him that the altercation began after an argument they had with a store owner drew some bystanders who intervened and started beating the Arabs. Waiting for the commotion to subside, the man and his son led the Arab men to an alleyway so they could escape. But then, the man recounted, hundreds of yeshiva students stormed after the two, beating them "to a pulp." Protecting them with his own body, he was confronted by two haredi men, one of whom was brandishing a 20-centimeter-long knife. He was wounded in his abdomen, at which point the crowd began to disperse and police forces arrived. "All hell broke loose. After the terror attack, the public's blood boiled, and people became hot-headed, insane. These people that call themselves religious almost killed me and the two Palestinians. I was raised to defend any person. Luckily for me, I'm strong, but [had I been stabbed] one centimeter above or below, this would have become a murder," the man said. Rabbi Yitzhak Bazri of the nearby David Bazri yeshiva condemned the incident and said the mob had not come from his yeshiva. "We only have older students, and the attackers were young," he said. "This is a serious incident; no one should hurt innocents, [either] Arab or Jewish. It's against Halacha. I hope they find the assailants and put them on trial."