The volatile streets of Jerusalem
Hebrew media review

The volatile streets of Jerusalem

Last week’s hit-and-run terror attack claims its second victim, as police crack down on riots in the capital

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Illustrative: Israeli police during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on October 24, 2014. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Illustrative: Israeli police during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on October 24, 2014. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

A day after the second victim of last week’s hit-and-run terror attack succumbed to her wounds, Karen Yemima Muscara’s death and the ongoing violence in the capital makes the front pages of two of Israel’s three dailies on Monday.

Meanwhile, Haaretz is miffed by a Knesset bill that aims to bypass the High Court, and a report that the prime minister is set to approve large-scale infrastructure in the West Bank.

Yedioth Ahronoth reports that the Ecuadorian citizen was in the final stages of her conversion to Judaism. Muscara had struggled to support herself financially, and had resorted to taking janitorial work to fund her studies. “She was like Ruth the Moabite, who came here and sought to be part of the Jewish people,” her teacher told the paper. “She really loved Israel, and was connected to it in an exceptional way.”

All three Hebrew newspapers quote the statement by Rosa Cecelia, Karen’s mother, upon her daughter’s death. “My daughter died for the sanctification of God’s name,” she said. “I don’t want her death to be for nothing. My daughter’s dream was to come to Israel and build her life here, but her life was cut short.”

The mother of Ecuadorean Karen Yemima Muscara reacts during her daughter's funeral in Jerusalem, early Monday, October 27, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The mother of Ecuadorean Karen Yemima Muscara reacts during her daughter’s funeral in Jerusalem, early Monday, October 27, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Over in Israel Hayom, the paper eulogizes the young woman: “For the entire time Karen Yemima Muscara was in Israel, she radiated joy. The smile could not be wiped off the face of the 20-year-old young woman, who came to the Holy Land from Ecuador to convert and learn about Judaism in depth. But Karen’s captivating smile was cut off abruptly by the vile murderer in the hit-and-run attack.”

The paper reports that the increased police presence in East Jerusalem is successfully curbing the riots. “Yesterday the disturbances, protests and rock-throwing by Arab rioters at Israeli troops continued, but the events were more limited, and the forces managed to restore order in most areas of conflict.”

Yedioth, by contrast, describes the tense capital as “On the Verge of Explosion” in its headline, and says the funeral of the murderer of three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun and Muscara in last Wednesday’s hit-and-run on Sunday night is “precisely the event that is likely to inflame the powder keg on which the capital is resting.”

The paper reports that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and his deputy, Raz Nizeri, decided Sunday that the parents of rock-throwers under the age of 18 – whether Palestinian or Jewish – will be hit with hefty fines for their children’s involvement. The ruling may also force the parents of the rioters to compensate those injured in these attacks. The paper writes that the Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss a bill formulated by the Justice Ministry, under which rock-throwers could receive a 20-year prison sentence for their actions. The bill also calls for the prosecution of those targeting police, with a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

Both Israel Hayom and Haaretz spotlight the Channel 2 report on Sunday, but have little to add to the rumors that the prime minister is set to ease the “quiet freeze” on construction in the West Bank.

The Hebrew dailies also focus on a bill spearheaded by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, which would allow the Knesset to reintroduce legislation shot down by the High Court, should it receive a majority vote of 61 MKs. The renewed laws would only be valid for four years, under the terms of the bill. The bill passed the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday, a major hurdle on its way to becoming law. It would allow the government to bypass the High Court, and would give the Knesset leeway to reintroduce its “infiltrator law” – which was shot down by the judiciary in September.

Israel Hayom describes Shaked’s bill as “an attempt to clip the wings of the High Court” in an effort to restore the legislation against illegal migrants, including the ability to detain migrants for up to a year in the holding facilities in southern Israel.

Yedioth predicts that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and the attorney general will torpedo the bill. Moreover, Netanyahu is not thought to be in a rush to advance the bill, it reports.

Haaretz offers information on the revised bill for African migrants, which calls “for limiting confinement to the Holot facility in the Negev to two years, according to recent discussions among government ministries. The amendment also reduces roll calls from the previous three times a day to once a day, in the evening. In discussions among the various ministries and other authorities, various suggestions have been raised, including that asylum seekers would not be taken into custody, but rather that a large part of their salaries to be placed in a special fund and returned to them when they leave the country. A suggestion has also been raised that a criminal law from 1954 be invoked that would subject asylum seekers to a five-year prison term.”

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