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Police lost control of Arab mob, abandoned Jewish women

Wednesday, December 19, 9:45 Fifteen young Jewish women were detained by the police on Sunday evening (December 16) in the Old City of Jerusalem. Shortly afterwards they were abandoned to a violent Arab mob when the police could not maintain order. Honenu: One wrong leads to another. On Sunday, December 16 in the late evening hours a group of 15 young women left a conference held in the Old City of Jerusalem on the subject of ascending the Temple Mount . After leaving the conference, the young women began to circle the gates of the Temple Mount and pray. According to the young women, very soon a patrol Jeep of border policemen began accompanying them everywhere in order to maintain order. At a certain point, the young women went to Lions’ Gate, near one of the entrances to the Temple Mount, and prayed there. More border policemen arrived at the site and demanded that the young women leave because “This isn’t the time or the place to pray”. The young women followed orders and began to leave the site. On their way out four Arab youths arrived in a vehicle and began to verbally attack the young women. Shortly afterwards, the Arabs got out of the vehicle and tried to physically attack the young women despite the close proximity of policemen at the site, and a scuffle developed. When the policemen arrived on the scene one of the Arab assailants claimed that one of the young women had sprayed him with tear gas. The policemen, also Arabs, accepted the Arab’s claim and informed all of the young women that they would be detained until whoever sprayed the tear gas was found. In the meantime, more Arabs started to gather at the site while the policemen attempted to find the gas canister and identify the young woman who had supposedly sprayed the tear gas. The young women said that the Arabs, who had gathered around them, tried from time to time to attack the them within clear sight of the policemen. At this point, the Arab who claimed to have been attacked with tear gas pointed at one of the young women and identified her as the assailant while more Arabs joined the wild mob and attempted to attack the young women. When the police realized that they could not control the crowd, they yelled at the young women that they were all released except for the one suspected of assault. The police shouted “Get out of here!” and pushed the young women, even though they were surrounded by an Arab mob. The young women were forced to leave the site by themselves, unprotected and escaped as the rioting Arabs beat them. The young woman suspected of spraying tear gas was taken to the Kishleh Police Station at Jaffa Gate where she was interrogated for several hours and then unconditionally released. Honenu strongly objects to the conduct of the police: “From start to finish, the conduct of the police was wrong: not allowing prayer at the site, arbitrarily detaining the young women and to top it off abandoning them to a rioting mob. One wrong led to another. And as usual, the detention itself was completely baseless at best and criminal harassment at worst.”

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