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Daily Israel Report

Rock-Throwing and Car-Chases in North Jerusalem

Dramatic car chase as would-be victim gives chase after coming under attack. But are local authorities shirking responsibility?
By Shimon Cohen
First Publish: 4/2/2014, 10:58 PM

Terrorists with stones (illustrative)
Terrorists with stones (illustrative)
Flash90

The new road connecting the neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Ya'akov to Highway 443 was dedicated a few months ago by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transportation, hoping that the road would help both Jews and Arabs in the area.

Instead, as it turns out, the road is also becoming a hotbed of terrorism which is not being reported to the public.

Elnatan Shalom, a resident of Kohav Hashahar in Samaria and member of the band the Northern Spirit, told Arutz Sheva Wednesday his own story, as he was attacked on his way to a gig on Tuesday. Elnatan became the victim of another terror attack - this time, in broad daylight, and in Jerusalem itself.

Shalom describes how, at the second traffic light near the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina, a bridge overhangs the intersection. Soon, he noticed a group of Arab teenagers throwing stones and bottles on cars on motorists. He said it was impossible to leave the congested intersection - and how every car was being pelted by stones, sometimes many of them at once. 

To try and minimize the chances of being hit while waiting for a green light, he quickly passed a BMW in the next lane. But just seconds later, Elnatan's friend - who was in the passenger seat - sounded the alarm that the BMW was tailing him and trying to drive him off the road.

"I was busy trying to get away from the stones and not looking," Shalom stated. "I looked to my right and the BMW was blowing the horn very loudly and trying to drive me sideways off the road."

"I braked quickly and he swerved around to block my path," he recounted. "He was trying to make me crash."

But this was only the beginning. "As I braked, I saw him get out of his car, carrying a rock and running toward me."

Shalom revved the car and reversed a few times, trying to find a way to swerve away from the man who turned out not to be the typical Israeli driver - but to no avail. "He jumped on my car, started climbing up the side, and fell," Shalom said. 

From Bad to Worse

And it was not over yet. Shalom drove away from the scene - and the terrorists drove after him. They chased him down the highway. As soon and as quickly as he could, he called the police and informed them about the attack, as he saw the BMW swerve away from him, toward the Benzion interchange linking to Beit Hanina. 

"I told them that someone had been chasing me, trying to hurl stones at me, but the person who answered the phone was inexperienced and had no idea what to do," Shalom said. "She told me to calm down and tell her what happened. I told her to immediately send a mobile police unit to the scene - I could see that there was a traffic jam at the intersection [and the terrorists were still there]."

"Then, a spark of intuition hit me. I drove on the shoulder, I did not yield, then cut him off on his left a minute before the light turned green - something the other drivers didn't like," he said. "He didn't manage to break away from the traffic jam, got stuck at the roundabout and then disappeared." 

Shalom goes on and explains that he himself was not injured, but pointed out that the victim could easily have been a mother driving her children. He reiterated that the whole event  did not occur on the roads of Judea and Samaria - but in the bustling municipality of Jerusalem.

"They do what they want, just like the Wild West," Shalom fired. "I thought to myself, 'what would happen if I had stopped in traffic. Would he start throwing stones at me on the road that leads from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?'"

"Then I had this feeling of helplessness and horror. Throwing stones are considered a practical joke by Ha'aretz," he said, referring to the far-left Israeli publication, which has received flak for publishing opinion pieces glorifying Arab rock-throwers.

Shalom added that the police called him just after the BMW drove away, and told him that the 443 was not under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality - even though it is within their municipal borders - but of the Binyamin region.