Arab cab driver attacked as tensions seethe over terror attacks
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Arab cab driver attacked as tensions seethe over terror attacks

Four teens in Jerusalem arrested for throwing stones at taxi; officials beef up police presence as unrest persists

Right-wing Jewish activists wave the Israeli flag as they attend a protest near the site where a young Jewish woman was killed by a Palestinian terrorist, and two people were injured in a stabbing attack at a bus stop at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, on November 10, 2014. This is the second terrorist attack of its kind in a day. Earlier today a young Israeli soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian man at a train station in Tel Aviv. (Photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Right-wing Jewish activists wave the Israeli flag as they attend a protest near the site where a young Jewish woman was killed by a Palestinian terrorist, and two people were injured in a stabbing attack at a bus stop at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, on November 10, 2014. This is the second terrorist attack of its kind in a day. Earlier today a young Israeli soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian man at a train station in Tel Aviv. (Photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

An Arab cab driver in Jerusalem was attacked Monday night, after protesters blocked a road at the entrance to the capital, creating a traffic jam.

Police said they arrested four 13-year-old boys who admitted to throwing stones at the Arab cab driver.

The protesters, who seemed to number a dozen or so people as seen in a video of the incident, staged an impromptu demonstration calling for government action after IDF soldier Almog Shiloni and 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus were killed in separate terror attacks during the day. Chants such as “No Arabs, no terror attacks!” were heard.

The protesters then spotted the driver of a shared taxi, whom they thought to be Arab, sitting in traffic. “There’s an Arab [man]!” one of the protesters cried out as the other swarmed the vehicle, the footage shows.

They then began attacking and cursing at him in Hebrew and Russian. Border Police officers arrived on the scene and prevented any further violence, arresting a number of people.

The driver was unharmed.

The shooting came amid sky-high tensions across the country following the two separate terror attacks in Tel Aviv and in the West Bank.

The two terrorists, one from Nablus, the other from Hebron, are hospitalized.

Also Monday night, a Palestinian man was shot dead outside the Arab town of Zemer in the Sharon region close to the seam line, according to preliminary reports.

The man, a 36-year-old Nablus resident, was reportedly shot in an open field adjacent to the town. A 16-year-old Palestinian teenager was wounded in the incident.

Police assess that the incident was criminal in nature, according to Israel Radio, but circumstances are not yet clear.

Earlier Monday, Israeli officials vowed to step up efforts against the ongoing wave of violence, and the prime minister convened an emergency meeting of security heads Monday night.

Meeting at his bureau in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered officials to bolster security forces’s presence in the West Bank and called for terrorists’ homes to be torn down, in a bid to stem the wave of attacks.

At the meeting were Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Shin Bet security service head Yoram Cohen, police commissioner Yohanan Danino and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Rock-throwing attacks were reported throughout the country and in the West Bank, as unrest stemming from the police shooting of an Arab man early Saturday appeared to spread.

A passenger was lightly injured Monday evening when a stone struck his car on Route 31 on the way to the Dead Sea. Officers launched a search for the assailant, and police in the south were put on heightened alert.

Benjamin Netanyahu, center, meeting with security officials in Jerusalem on November 10, 2014. (photo credit: Haim Zach/GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu, center, meeting with security officials in Jerusalem on November 10, 2014. (photo credit: Haim Zach/GPO)

In Kafr Kanna, the town where Kheir Hamdan was killed by police early Saturday after he ran at them with a knife, dozens of youths shot off firecrackers and burned tires in the street. A large police contingent was in the area.

Some 40 people have been arrested there over the past several days, including five on Monday, Israel Radio reported.

In the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, stones were thrown at cars and at nearby Jewish homes. No injuries or damage were reported.

On Route 446 in the northern West Bank, Palestinians threw rocks at a car, damaging it.

In Nazareth, stones were thrown at a bus and a police cruiser. The bus was slightly damaged.

Protesters throwing rocks towards Israeli Border Policemen at the entrance to Kafr Kanna on November 9, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)
Protesters throwing rocks towards Israeli Border Policemen at the entrance to Kafr Kanna on November 9, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)

Aharonovitch said he would look into the possibility of calling up reserves from the Border Police gendarme force to help quell the unrest, Channel 2 news reported.

As a last resort, officials may consider a closure on the West Bank if the situation deteriorates, the channel also reported.

Aharonovitch, who convened a security meeting Monday night, also decided to beef up police presence across the country and ordered stepped-up arrest operations against Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives.

A statement from the police called on residents to remain alert and report suspicious activity.

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