Palestinian teen indicted, 2 men held in Tisha B’Av attack on Jewish driver

Palestinian teen indicted, 2 men held in Tisha B’Av attack on Jewish driver

Several men seen in Jerusalem video footage smashing car’s windows with rocks, striking Haredi driver, until cop shoots in air to scatter attackers

An East Jerusalem teen was charged Tuesday with taking part in a violent attack on an Israeli driver passing through a Palestinian neighborhood of the capital.

In dramatic footage of the incident in the early hours of August 11, young men can be seen surrounding a car driven by a man in Haredi dress near the intersection of Salah ad-Din and Sultan Suleiman streets in East Jerusalem.

The men can be seen smashing the car’s windows with rocks and other objects, and attacking the driver. According to media reports, they also sprayed him with pepper spray.

The attack was stopped when a police officer in an unmarked car in front of the driver stepped out of his vehicle and fired three shots into the air, scattering the attackers.

The driver was lightly hurt in the attack, and was taken to hospital with a bleeding but superficial head wound. The car was heavily damaged, according to Hebrew media reports.

Three suspects were arrested last week after police obtained the security footage of the attack, including a 17-year-old charged Tuesday with assault. The other two suspects were later released, but on Monday police arrested two other East Jerusalem men, aged 19 and 21, authorities said Tuesday.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has extended their remand until Thursday.

Israeli police stand guard on Sultan Suleiman Street near the Herod’s Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, on September 19, 2016. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The attack came amid rising tensions between Jews and Muslims in the capital. August 11 marked both the start of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday marking the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, and Tisha B’Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the temples that once stood on the Temple Mount and other disasters in Jewish history.

Earlier in the evening, a right-wing Israeli march had passed by the same intersection near the Old City, drawing anger from locals. Police were needed to keep the groups separated.

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