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Residents: Police Don't Enforce Law in Eastern Jerusalem

Jewish residents of eastern Jerusalem say police are not enforcing law and order in their neighborhoods.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/13/2010, 12:48 PM / Last Update: 6/13/2010, 1:07 PM

Israel News Photo: JCDF

Jewish residents of eastern Jerusalem say police are not enforcing law and order in their neighborhoods.

This past Friday, a stocking-masked Arab fired a pop gun at Jewish homes in Maaleh HaZeitim for nearly a minute straight – and the police did not arrive when called. A request for comment has been submitted to the Jerusalem Police district. 

The residents detailed the event in a letter to Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch, who oversees the police. The letter states, “This past Friday afternoon at 1:00, a stocking-masked Arab with a red kefiyeh stood next to Maaleh Zeitim, and began firing, for nearly a minute, a pop gun directly at the Jewish homes and residents of the neighborhood.”

Within seconds, a female resident called the emergency police number, 100, and asked for immediate assistance. The operator said she did not know where Maaleh Zeitim is located. After 30 seconds, the woman gave up on the police operator, and called the Fire Department, reporting that the shooting had caused a fire just eight meters (nine yards) away from the homes. The firemen arrived within minutes and put out the fire.

The woman called 100 again, and asked that the police arrive, given that the Arab was continuing to shoot. The operator looked for her original notations on the first call, but could not find them.

“As of this morning,” the letter to Aharonvitch states, “the police have still not bothered to gather testimony from the residents, to collect evidence such as spent bullet casings, and the like.”

Local resident Aryeh King, a land activist who heads the Israel Land Fund, wrote, “The events of this Friday, just like those of the Yemenite Village nearby that have been ongoing for six months, and those of Ben Hinnom Valley of the past two months, together with a series of humiliating orders that have been issued from the office of the Jerusalem District Police Commander – all of these taken together, and each of them separately, indicate that you should want to review carefully what is going on in the Jerusalem District.”

Just two days ago, on Friday afternoon, an Arab driver purposely ran down two Border Guard policemen in another Arab-populated neighborhood near the Old City, Wadi Joz. The two were injured lightly-to-moderately, but other policemen  managed to shoot and kill the attacker.

Two weeks ago, a mob of Arabs threw firebombs and rocks at a Jewish guard in Shiloach, who then fired back. Earlier that same day, nine Border Guardsmen were lightly wounded in Arab riots there.                              

Over the past three months, several motorists have reported being attacked by Arab rock-throwers in Wadi Joz, outside the Old City walls, with little or no reaction from the police. One victim said that police told him that Arabs attack cars for the purpose of forcing police to enter their neighborhoods, and therefore police have been ordered not to be drawn into such areas. Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby, contacted by Israel National News, said no such policy exists.