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Shots Fired in Jerusalem, Police Arrest 'Victim'

Jerusalem residents say serial police neglect reached peak in arrest of security officer, false report to media.
By Benny Toker, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 7/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Gunshots in Nof Tzion
Gunshots in Nof Tzion
Hanania Richman

Residents of the southeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Nof Tzion are in an uproar after terrorists opened fire on local homes Monday, at which point a security officer fired in the air to scare them off - only to be arrested by police.

Police officers arrived on the scene 20 minutes later, well after the terrorists opened fire on the Jerusalem neighborhood. Instead of arresting the terrorists, they arrested the security officer, and reportedly only after the involvement of MKs was the man released.

Residents claim that in recent nights molotov cocktails have been thrown at homes in the neighborhood, and police simply are not arriving after being contacted.

According to their claims, they were told by the 100 police emergency hotline several times that the location of the neighborhood is not known to police, and only after lengthy explanations were residents able to get police to arrive.

However, in most of the cases Arab police officers were sent who expressed sympathy for the Arab attackers, according to the residents.

Maor Tzamah, a resident of Nof Tzion, says the recent incidents constitute a peak in the collapsing relations between the residents and the police.

"They arrested the security officer who tried to defend the neighborhood, and released a statement to the media saying a resident of Nof Tzion opened fire on Arabs and was arrested," noted Tzamah.

After arriving 20 minutes late, Tzamah says the police "asked us why we're bothering them and arrested the security officer for investigation. Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel, it cannot be that precisely here the victim becomes the accused."

The security officer was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning, where the police asked to extend his arrest by six days for investigation.

Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal aid organization, who represented the security officer, succeeding in securing the man's released on limited terms and with guarantors.

No official police response has been received yet on the residents' statements.

Gunshots in Nof Tzion Hanania Richman