In response to the stabbing of a Jewish man on Friday night, scores of Jewish residents of the historic Mount of Olives in Jerusalem took to the street in protest, demanding to be afforded the peace and security found in other parts of Israel’s capital city.
Walking back from prayers at the Western Wall on Friday night, a man in his 30s and his friend were attacked by two Arab men who leapt from a waiting car. One of the assailants stabbed the Jewish man in his back and both fled. The victim was treated at the scene by a Magen David Adom paramedic and an emergency room physician from Shaarei Zedek hospital, both of whom are residents of Maale HaZeitim, one of the Jewish neighborhoods in the area.
The victim was taken to Hadassah Ein-Kerem hospital by ambulance in moderate condition, with a stab wound to his kidney. This marks the first time a Jew was stabbed in the neighborhood since its establishment, more than a decade ago. It is an escalation in the violence which includes numerous rock throwing and other attacks. Residents demanded more police presence and stricter measures against anti-Jewish incitement and violence.
At an emergency meeting held by the Jewish community’s security committee, residents expressed their outrage at the Jerusalem Police department’s failure to provide basic protection to citizens, and issued a list of recommendations for local law enforcement, who they say do not take security threats or calls for police assistance seriously. Among complaints were inability to reach officers in a timely manner via the national police phone service, unwillingness for police to investigate charges of threats or harassment against Jews by Arab neighbors, and an overwhelming lack of police presence in an area known to be hostile toward Jews within the Jerusalem municipality.
Maale HaZeitim, and the new adjacent community of Maalot David, are a 15-minute walk from Jerusalem’s popular and ancient Old City, and enjoys a view of the Temple Mount.