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Second clip shows alleged assailants arrested

Video shows Orthodox Jews assaulted in Old City while on way to the Western Wall

Driver of bus attacked by Palestinian stone-throwers in separate incident says it could have ended in tragedy, calls on transportation minister to protect drivers

  • A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews attacked by a mob on their way to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
    A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews attacked by a mob on their way to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
  • Eliahu Danziger (right), who was attacked by Palestinians in Jerusalem's Old City as he and others walked to the Western Wall, April 17, 2022 (Channel 12 screenshot)
    Eliahu Danziger (right), who was attacked by Palestinians in Jerusalem's Old City as he and others walked to the Western Wall, April 17, 2022 (Channel 12 screenshot)
  • Shlomi Fadida, an Egged driver whose bus was attacked by Palestinian stone-throwers outside the Old City on April 17 2022 (Channel 12 screenshot)
    Shlomi Fadida, an Egged driver whose bus was attacked by Palestinian stone-throwers outside the Old City on April 17 2022 (Channel 12 screenshot)
  • The interior of an Egged bus attacked by Palestinian rock-throwers outside Jerusalem's Old City on April 17, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    The interior of an Egged bus attacked by Palestinian rock-throwers outside Jerusalem's Old City on April 17, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews was attacked on Sunday morning while walking through Jerusalem’s Old City.

Security camera footage showed the three men, wrapped in their prayer shawls (talliot), making their way to prayers at the Western Wall.

As they were walking through one of the alleys in the Old City, a group of Palestinians jumped out and attacked them violently, threw large objects at them, punched and kicked them and then fled the scene.

Eyewitnesses told Channel 12 news that some 20 people were involved in the attack.

Two suspects in the incident were arrested by Israeli police. A police video released Monday showed the arrests of two of the suspects.

None of the Jewish men required medical attention.

“The Arabs fell on us as we walked past,” said one of those attacked, Eliahu Danziger. “They punched us and injured us,” he told Channel 12 news.

Eliahu Danziger (right), who was attacked by Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City as he and others walked to the Western Wall, April 17, 2022 (Channel 12 screenshot)

The incident came amid violent clashes between Palestinians and police throughout the Old City, as security forces sought to allow Jewish pilgrims to visit the Temple Mount.

Early Sunday also saw Palestinian rock-throwers attack at least 10 Egged buses just outside the Old City en route to the Western Wall, smashing windows and leaving several passengers wounded, including a 13-year-old girl.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said seven people were hurt in the incidents and were taken to the city’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center with light injuries. Police said nine suspects were arrested.

The driver of one of the attacked buses recounted the incident to Channel 12.

“I arrived at around 7:20 a.m. at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, I took a right toward the Western Wall and I was heading down. A group of 20-25 people were waiting for us in an ambush with rocks and started hurling them at the bus,” Shlomi Fadida, who was lightly wounded in the attack, said.

Shlomi Fadida, an Egged driver whose bus was attacked by Palestinian stone-throwers outside the Old City on April 17, 2022. (Channel 12 screenshot)

“I didn’t know what to do, I told the passengers to lie down so they won’t get hurt, and we managed to get through it and make it to the Western Wall, where paramedics and police were waiting,” he said.

Fadida said that despite the danger, he had to keep going, and called on Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli to take action, saying that bus drivers “are essentially heading out to war,” and calling the incident a “terror attack.”

“If one of those rocks would have hit a passenger or me, I could have lost control of the bus. We would have not been talking right now!”

Nahum Appleboim, a passenger on the bus with Fadida, said “there was a boom, boom, boom” and “a crazy hail of rocks” hit the bus as it neared the Lions’ Gate. “I was hit a terrible blow in the shoulder by a rock that came through the window, and I went flying to the floor. There was glass everywhere,” he told Channel 12.

“The driver was incredible,” Appleboim added, speaking after he was treated for his injuries. “He kept going… It wasn’t simple… It was terrifying… I was just praying to get out of there.”

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, whose ministry oversees police, condemned the clashes and rock-throwing, saying the police took a “severe” view of the violence.

The interior of an Egged bus attacked by Palestinian rock-throwers outside Jerusalem’s Old City on April 17, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“The police will act with a firm hand against anyone who dares to use terror against Israeli citizens,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s important to us to continue to allow freedom of worship, but we won’t compromise in the face of violence and terror.”

Jerusalem’s top cop, meanwhile, deflected criticism leveled at his force for not securing the way leading into the Old City, or stopping the buses due to the unrest.

“I regret that there are wounded, but we made a decision not to halt the buses and allow the route to continue operating normally,” Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman said, adding that officers were there within 10 minutes.

“The easiest thing for me to do is stop buses, but thousands of Jews are traveling to the Western Wall. We arrested the suspects and the buses kept going.”

Turgeman also said that many officers were directed to the unrest at and near the Temple Mount and that “cops can’t be everywhere at every time.”

Many Jews head to the Western Wall and the Old City during the week of Passover, which began Friday night. Non-Muslims can only visit the Temple Mount during certain hours and are barred from praying at the site, which is the holiest in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.

Passover this year intersects with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which tends to see increased tensions around the Old City. Sunday is also Easter, with Christian pilgrims expected in the Old City.

The confluence of the holidays this year has been seen for months as potential kindling for an eruption of violence.

The police said late Sunday that two suspects from the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm were arrested for throwing stones at a police vehicle. The suspects were males aged 16 and 18.

Police officers had been dispatched to the city to “maintain public order in the city,” police said.

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