A Jewish man was attacked and badly wounded on Friday as he walked to the Kotel (Western Wall) to pray. The man, a resident of Samaria in his 30s, required surgery following the attack, and will need to undergo another surgery in four months.
Hebrew Interview with Victim:
The victim, “H,” recalled the attack. “Near the American consulate, someone suddenly hit me in the back. I fell down and was hit again."
“Two Arab men grabbed me, beat me, stripped off my pants and continued to beat me, while speaking to each other in Arabic. After a few minutes, they ran away.
"Every part of my body was bleeding. Nobody stopped to help. In the end, I reached the hospital, where I was taken to surgery and to be examined.”
Doctors described H's medical condition as moderate to serious, with serious internal bleeding.
The day after the attack, police sent an Arab officer to meet with him and investigate the incident, H said.
"I hope the police will catch them and the court will give them the punishment they deserve,” H said. “My faith is even stronger now, thank G-d. When I leave the hospital, I plan to go to the Kotel and thank Hashem for watching over me and giving me the gift of life.”
H expressed hope that the vicious attack he suffered would not deter other Jews from visiting Israel or making the country their home. “Despite the serious incidents that sometimes occur here, this is every Jew's place. Don't be afraid to come here.”
'This Won't Pass Quietly'
Members of Knesset and Zionist activists expressed dismay and anger over the serious assault. “This incident will not be greeted with silence,” said MK Nissim Zeev of Shas.
Zeev said he would bring up the incident in the Knesset on Monday, and would file a query with Defense Minister Ehud Barak regarding the course of the investigation.
MK Danny Danon of Likud said the incident was disturbing further proof of increasing extremism among Arab with Israeli citizenship. The attack was meant to cause damage extending beyond its one victim, he said, explaining, “The damage was done not just to one man, but to Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.”
Jews will continue to pray at the Kotel despite terrorists and their supporters, Danon said. He wished a speedy recovery to H, and expressed hope that his attackers would be caught in the near future.
'Fruit of Govt. Weakness'
Samaria Council Head Gershon Mesika accused the government of creating an atmosphere in which Jew haters were more likely to attack. “The enemy understands that the government is sending a message of weakness, and the spoilt fruits of that weakness are borne by citizens of Israel throughout the country,” he said.
A similar attack to that in which H was wounded took place recently, and the victim that time was a Jewish resident of Jerusalem, Mesika recalled. Those who hate Jews do not distinguish between residents of Judea and Samaria and those living in other parts of Israel, he said. “The crazed Arabs did not consider whether the victim was a resident of Jerusalem, like last week, or a resident of Samaria, like this latest time, but rather attacked Jews simply for being Jewish,” he said.