New IDF regulations for soldiers serving near Har Hatzofim (Mount Scopus) in Jerusalem show that the military deems the area highly unsafe, according to a Channel 10 news report.
The report revealed that the IDF base in the area now locks its gate at 6 p.m. From that point on, soldiers are allowed to leave the base only in secure convoys.
During the day, soldiers are not allowed to leave on foot at all.
The new regulations were put into place following an attack on two female IDF commanders. The two women were targeted by an Arab gang throwing firebombs as they drove near the base.
While soldiers will be restricted to their locked base, students continue to walk in the same area. They told Channel 10 that they, too, feel the area is unsafe.
“I don’t leave the house without tear gas, whether I’m going to the light rail train, the bus stop, or just to throw out the garbage,” student Tali Bakshi said. “I don’t feel safe.”
Arab youths and men from nearby neighborhoods often attack female students, she explained. While she has not been physically attacked, she said, several female friends have had Arab men grab their bodies as they walk near campus.
A second student, Yoav Yavin, said he had heard many similar stories. One female acquaintance suffered an attempted rape as she walked home from the train stop a short distance away, he said.
“Fear has become routine here, both for students and for residents of the [French Hill] neighborhood. This is a systematic failure that’s been continuing for years,” he accused.
Residents have demanded that the city put security cameras up in roads in the area “but the city simply refuses,” he added.
In addition to the sexual assault, break-ins, and car theft reported by students, police have had to deal with gangs of Arab youths and men throwing stones and firebombs at drivers in the area. A gang of 15 was recently arrested for hurling firebombs at Israeli drivers.
The attackers are also residents of Jerusalem, primarily from the nearby Arab neighborhood of Issawiya. A local Israeli man who spoke to Arutz Sheva last week reported that most attacks take place in the open, with the attackers not even bothering to hide their faces.