Arab Riots in Jerusalem: 'We were in mortal danger'

Jewish man whose car was torched by Arab rioters recalls harrowing moments during attack. 'I called the police commander, he didn't answer.'

David Rosenberg ,

Israeli car torched in Shimon HaTzaddik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood, Jerusalem
Israeli car torched in Shimon HaTzaddik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood, Jerusalem
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

An Israeli Jewish man whose car was torched by Arab rioters in eastern Jerusalem overnight said he and his family were in mortal danger during the rioting, lamenting what he said was the slow, hesitant response by police.

Late Thursday night and early Friday morning, Arab rioters attacked Jewish residents of the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood (Sheikh Jarrah), hurling rocks and firebombs.

The attacks are the latest in a wave of rioting and other violent incidents by Arabs in the capital during the month of Ramadan.

During the rioting overnight, a Jewish-owned vehicle was set on fire and destroyed by the Arab rioters.

The owner of the vehicle, Tal Yushuvayev, said in an interview with BeHadrei Haredim that despite there being officers nearby, police were slow to respond to the attacks, adding that he and his family were in ‘mortal danger’.

Yushuvayev, who has lived in Shimon Hatzaddik for the past year and a half with his wife and eight-month-old son, had to turn to friends for help, after his calls to police went unanswered.

“All of the sudden I was being hit by tons of rocks. I called the police four or five times. After ten minutes I called my friends to come save me.”

“I saw the car go up in flames, and stones were being thrown at my house. I can only imagine what would have happened if they hadn’t torched just the car but also the house, where my son was sleeping," said Yushuvayev. "We were in mortal danger."

“It took the police at least 40 minutes to come,” Yushuvayev continued. “I called the station commander, whose personal number I have, but he didn’t answer. He knows I live here, but he didn’t answer me.”

Yushuvayev noted that at the time of the attack, police officers were stationed within walking distance from his home – but were not dispatched following his initial calls to police.

Once police did arrive at the scene, seven Arab rioters were detained for questioning on suspicion of disorderly conduct and assaulting police officers.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir (Religious Zionist Party), who recently relocated his office to the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood, lamented the slow police response to the attacks.

"I arrived in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood tonight, after Jews were attacked here all week just because they are Jews and the police did almost nothing. I am glad that thanks to our arrival here the police started working, but if the police do not treat terrorists harshly, we will be here until quiet is restored here."