Road to Mt. Olives danger to Jewish travelers

Updated: Aug 9

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu has represented victims of rock or Molotov cocktail attacks and here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Car damaged one month ago; Photo credit: Free use

Monday, July 19, 2021, 14:09 Over a month ago, Honenu warned about the lack of law enforcement on the main road to the Mount of Olives, Raba’a al-Adawiya Street, and about the danger to every Jew traveling in the area of being ambushed by local Arab residents. Every week reports are made of rock throwing, ambushes, and injured Jews – and the attacks are life-threatening. Honenu demanded that the Israeli Police improve law enforcement in the area and apprehend suspects after attacks, but the number of injured Jews has only increased. Last week, local Arab residents threw rocks at the car in which Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, was traveling to the Jewish neighborhood of Ma’aleh HaZeitim on the Mount of Olives. The car’s windows were shattered and Rabbi Eliahu’s driver was injured by glass shards. This was only one of numerous incidents.

Injured Beitar Illit resident; Photo courtesy of the photographer

Approximately two weeks ago, a 36-year-old Beitar Illit resident, A. was moderately injured from rock-throwing while driving on Raba’a al-Adawiya Street. A. was following directions from Waze to the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, when suddenly a terrorist jumped out and hurled a large rock at the front windshield. The windshield shattered and the rock hit A. directly in the face. His lips were cut and he started to bleed heavily. One of his arms was bruised by the rock and his front teeth were broken, necessitating comprehensive treatment. Miraculously A. did not lose control of his car, made a U-turn, and fled the scene while calling the police and MDA. He was evacuated to the Hadassa Ein Kerem Hospital and classified as moderately injured. A. required stitches and a lengthy recuperation. Over the past few months, Honenu has provided legal counsel to dozens of attack victims in the area, among them a couple from the central region of Israel. The wife was in an advanced stage of pregnancy and they were attacked by approximately 30 rock-throwing rioters as they attempted to reach the Western Wall. Their car windows were shattered and they suffered injuries. In another incident, a couple from Beit Orot and a couple from Netanya were attacked within 15 minutes of each other. Also, a resident of Bnei Brak traveling with his brother and his 13-year-old son to a family memorial ceremony were attacked by rock-throwers. A large rock penetrated the car and hit the boy in his shoulder. Another rock hit the driver’s brother. Another case Honenu is handling is of an incident that occurred approximately one month ago. A Pardes Hanna resident in his 20s and his girlfriend were attacked by rock-throwers as they drove through Wadi Joz. A mob of rioters threw large rocks and metal objects at their car. The windows were shattered and the terrorists broke the car’s mirrors. The couple miraculously escaped. The driver’s head and hands were injured and he suffered cuts from the shattered windshield. He required stitches. Above are descriptions of only a small portion of the attack cases that Honenu is handling, and there are certainly additional incidents which are not known to the organization. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher is of the opinion that these incidents are sufficient to clearly indicate a life-threatening methodical phenomenon of daily occurrence. More than one month ago, Bleicher wrote to the police that, “this is an emergency situation. Every day Jewish lives are in immediate danger. The failure cries out to the Heavens: The next attack is sure to happen, G-d forbid.” The events since then have proven him right. Bleicher continued: “Time after time, Jews coming to the Mount of Olives to pay respects encounter a cruel experience that leaves them physically and emotionally scarred. It is your responsibility to put an end to this shocking bloody routine. I demand that you immediately increase police activity in the area and do everything in your power to apprehend and bring to trial those suspected of attack.”

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