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'Near Pogrom' at Shiloach

Dozens of Arabs went on a rampage near Ir David at night and in the early morning, smashing and burning Jewish residents' cars.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/26/2010, 8:11 PM / Last Update: 8/26/2010, 8:03 PM

Shiloach

Dozens of Arabs went on a rampage for over 90 minutes Thursday morning at Shiloach (Silwan), near Ir David, the site of King David's Jerusalem in ancient times.

Ir David resident Rabbi Amir Ben David called the event “a near-pogrom.”

"The event began at 4:20 AM when I was on my way to say Selichot prayers at the Kotel,” he said. “The mosques called on everyone to come out and within seconds there were dozens of Arabs at the entrance to the Pool of Shiloach, blocking the roads and setting Jews' cars on fire.”

The rioters pelted a Border Police truck with fire bombs and rocks, Ben David said – and the truck drove away. This behavior caused the Arabs to become more confident, he explained. “They began to draw near to my house and threw dozens of rocks at it, breaking the external roof and the solar collector panels.”

"I called the police and told them to send their forces in quickly because I do not want to have to use my weapon. So the policewoman asked me – 'How did you come to have a weapon at home?' This is what bothered her. I understood at that point that I was talking to a wall.”

"Rocks were thrown at all parts of the house. At that moment you are not sure what to do. We took the kids inside into a more internal room. The security guard was wounded in the head and taken to hospital.”

A full thirty minutes passed before Border Police arrived on the scene, Ben David recounted. They used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the mob, at about 6:00 AM.

Ben David and other residents said the levels of violence were unprecedented in the neighborhood in the past 15 years.

Jewish residents said it was not clear what sparked the rioting. There was unrest before 2:00 AM, one said, but Border Police managed to quiet things down. Then, at 4:20, the large scale rioting began.