Angry Jewish parents are speaking out against the government’s velvet glove approach to Arab attacks on their children’s school bus this morning (Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014) and other violence perpetrated in the Maale Zeitim (Ras el-Amud) neighborhood on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.
Arabs attacked dozens of small Jewish children as they traveled to school by bus in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Three masked attackers pelted a school bus filled with small children with rocks in another road terror incident, badly traumatizing the young passengers – many of whom were first graders. The side view mirror was damaged and the windshield of the bus was damaged as well.
“It’s always from the same place, the same three or four meters,” said one of the Jewish residents living in the neighborhood who spoke with JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday. “This was very much a planned attack because they knew exactly when the bus leaves and they targeted that bus – it’s the main bus that takes the children to school. They’re just little kids …” The resident, who requested anonymity, said there were periods of quiet in the neighborhood, usually after a series of attacks.
“Sometimes what the police do is to send a squad car or someone from the local civil patrol to sit by the gates to the neighborhood. While they are stationed here, of course, nothing happens. It’s when they are not here that the attacks occur – and then we call and they come back and then the cycle starts all over again.
The resident was clear about not resting the blame with the local Arabs. “First of all, no one really knows exactly who is carrying out these attacks. Local neighbors tell us it’s ‘just kids’ from the other neighborhoods, from Silwan… but you know? It’s an ongoing communication from our neighbors that they are upset with our presence here and they will continue to make it uncomfortable for us as long as possible.
“We are upset not with them but with the security establishment, the city and the police who show a disregard for the security of our children. We need a constant police presence here – and for that matter, so does the city, when tourists are attacked just for trying to visit the graves of their ancestors.“
Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told JewishPress.com Sunday afternoon that Border Police patrols were stepped up in the neighborhood a couple of months ago, and other security measures were taken as well. Among them was the establishment of a police point at the Mount of Olives.
Nevertheless, Rosenfeld made it clear that establishment of a static police presence in the Ras el-Amud neighborhood could only be created through a decision by Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch.
Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King, whose own children were on the bus, expressed outrage at the lack of a regular police presence in the neighborhood. Ma’ale Zeitim – also known as Ras el-Amud – is known as a “hot spot” in the city. The neighborhood wraps itself around the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery where some of Judaism’s foremost scholars and Torah sages are laid to rest.
Local Arabs have done their very best to prevent Jews from visiting the graves of their ancestors and sages at the sacred spot, regularly attacking citizens and tourists alike.
“Police have arrested hundreds – it may soon reach thousands,” King said on Sunday. “But there is little doubt that the policy of arrests by police is not effective. We have a great police force, but no deterrence,” he said.
“This is how Jewish residents of Jerusalem live their lives,” King added. He called for a “constant presence” instead to be established in the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Only then, King said, might the rioting be stopped at the source.