A group of Jewish tourists, including children, visiting the coastal Old City of Acre last Monday afternoon, was assaulted by local Arabs who tried to push them off the very high ancient wall of the city on which they were strolling. In response to the assault one of the tourists in the group, an IDF soldier, was forced to draw his personal weapon to defend the group.
After the incident, the soldier was detained by police for investigation and his army issue personal weapon was confiscated. He is being represented by legal aid society Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar.
“We were strolling along the walls of the Old City, about 20 people, including many children, when suddenly, for no reason, an Arab youth approached us and threatened to push us off of the wall, an enormous height of 12 meters (36 ft),” the soldier reported. “After a few minutes, several more young men and teens joined the first youth. One of them started to push members of the group off the wall, seriously threatening their lives. I and other members of the group, in order not to fall from the high side to the sea and the boulders below, were forced to jump from the wall to the ground [on the safe side].”
The soldier said he was forced to draw his personal weapon in order to deter the assailants and to protect the group.
The tourist group filed a complaint at the police station against the Arab assailants.
Attorney Kedar said in a statement: “This is a scandal. A group of tourists was assaulted, a soldier was forced to protect his life and the lives of those around him, and found himself under investigation. It is unfortunate that once again the police took a stand at an early stage and detained suspects before clarifying the details of the incident. I am certain that my client will be released shortly. I hope that whomever started the disturbance and made the threats will be detained and brought to justice.”
Update: on Wednesday afternoon, Acre police returned the confiscated weapon to the soldier. Attorney Kedar praised police for their move, but called on them to arrest the Arabs who assaulted the tourists.David Israel