Police are deliberately intimidating young Jewish men who walk through majority-Arab parts of Jerusalem, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel has accused.
Police look for men who appear Jewish, he said. “It’s been going on for a few months, they look at your face and then take you aside and ask for identification and then straight to the station, they release you after a couple of hours,” he said.
In some cases, he said, police have tried to implicate Jewish men in crimes. “People here are afraid. This is a real assault on freedom,” he accused.
The incidents occur primarily in the Old City and on Har Tzion (Mount Zion), he said.
The officers who detain and arrest Jewish men in those areas are clearly getting orders from above, he reported, citing a recent incident in which a female officer wanted to let a man go, but was apparently told to arrest him.
Jerusalem Police said in response, “The Jerusalem Police regrets that checking identification is considered persecution. There is no order to officers as argued [by Rabbi Ariel], rather, they are told to confirm the identity of people who arouse their suspicion, which they do without discrimination.”