An Israeli man who was badly beaten by a Palestinian mob Friday night during rioting in Jerusalem, and who was subsequently hospitalized, believes he was “a hair’s breadth from death” and described the events in the city as “a Third Intifada.”
Eli Rozen, 27, was the second person in as many nights whose beating by rioters was caught on camera and caused outrage in the country.
Rozen was out walking his dog around 1 a.m. in the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood in the capital when he was accosted by dozens of angry Palestinians amid confrontations with police in the city. Video shared on social media shows Rozen getting kicked, beaten with a club and hit with rocks. As he runs off, a man hurls a shopping cart at him.
According to Haaretz, Rozen’s case was only one of several incidents Friday in which Jewish men were assaulted in the capital as tensions ran high, including a man who was beaten in the city’s east, several men who were assaulted while on their way to pray at the Western Wall and two who were attacked at the French Hill intersection.
ניסיונות הלינץ האלה מזעזעים.
אלי רוזן בן ה27 עדיין מאושפז עם צלעות שבורות pic.twitter.com/qFuXFTLHqo
— אייבי בנימין (@AybeeBinyamin) April 24, 2021
Speaking to Channel 12 from his hospital bed at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Medical Center on Saturday, Rozen said that when his attackers spotted him, they shouted “Yahud, Yahud” and ran after him.
He was punched repeatedly in the face and badly beaten. “It was simply a lynching,” he said. “I saw death. Luckily I somehow survived it. It was really a miracle. Someone else a bit weaker or less [medically] stable could have ended his life there.”
Rozen said he’d suffered three fractured vertebrae, a sprained ankle and swelling in the head which was improving.
“It’s a Third Intifada, without a doubt,” he said. “I came out fine considering the number of people who attacked me and what happened. I was a hair’s breadth from death.”
Rozen’s beating came a day after an Israeli motorist was assaulted and beaten by multiple attackers during violent clashes in the city between Jewish and Arab protesters.
When his car was surrounded by an angry mob Yahya Jardi, 46 from Beit Shemesh, attempted to flee on foot but was caught and physically assaulted. Video showed Jardi being kicked repeatedly as he lay on the ground. His car was later set on fire.
“I said to them ‘Why are you doing this, what have I done to you?'” he later recounted.
“I thought I was going to die,” he told Kan news. “I thought I wouldn’t get home, that I was dead… I was thrown to the ground and beaten. I couldn’t even breathe. They beat up my entire body.”
ערבים בועטים ביהודי שרוע כל הקרקע בשער שכם pic.twitter.com/zmAaAnUXdm
— גלעד כהן | Gilad Cohen (@GiladCohenJR) April 22, 2021
He was rushed to Hadassah Medical Center on Mt. Scopus where he remained under treatment over the weekend.
Police on Friday said they were searching for the culprits in the attack on Jardi.
There have been nightly disturbances since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 13, amid Palestinian anger over police blocking off access to the promenade around the walls of the Old City and a ban on gatherings.
A series of videos posted online have also shown young Arabs attacking ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Jewish extremists taking to the streets to bully Arabs.
A march into the heart of East Jerusalem by hundreds of supporters of a far-right Jewish nationalist group Thursday added fuel to the fire.
Fresh clashes broke out Saturday between Palestinians and police after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for “calm on all sides.”
But the premier also warned that Israel remains “prepared for all scenarios” after dozens of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, prompting Israeli retaliatory air strikes.
Thirty-six rockets were launched overnight Friday, the army said, the most in a single night this year, after Gaza’s Hamas rulers voiced support for the East Jerusalem protests.
Netanyahu made the remarks after attending an emergency security meeting with senior officials, including army chief Aviv Kohavi.