Arab attackers ran Tuesday from a clash with Orthodox Jews into the home of a Jew, who protected them. He claims that the Orthodox Jews then turned on him.
The conflict broke out when an Arab, in a dispute with a Jewish store owner, began to attack him as well as other Jews nearby. Ynet reported that a yeshiva student said he saw parts of the confrontation. “As far as we know, one of the Arabs had a dispute with the store owner and started beating up people," the student said. "When [Jewish] people who arrived at the site fought [that Arab], more Arabs joined in and assaulted Jews.”
Jews in the area quickly responded, and began to retaliate against the Arab attackers. Two Arabs fled, followed by the mob, and burst into the home of the Jew, who was sitting Shiva along with relatives. The man described himself as strong, and physically interposed himself between the Jews and the pair of Arabs. He turned on the Jews chasing them to defend the Arabs.
"Suddenly, while we were sitting shiva because my father-in-law passed away, two Palestinians stormed into the house bleeding and bruised…," said the Jewish man. "Dozens of ultra-Orthodox from the nearby yeshiva entered the backyard and severely beat up the two Palestinians, while we, still shocked, were trying to break it up and protect the Palestinians."
“We waited a few minutes for things to relax, and then my son and I took them out to a nearby alley, so they could go home." Then, according to the man, "two ultra-Orthodox guys from the yeshiva's balcony and yelled: 'Murder the Jews who protect Arabs.'"
The Jewish defenders then came through the yeshiva building and resumed their pursuit of the Arabs.
"They caught them and beat them up terribly," continued the Jewish man. "My son and I were quick to protect them with our bodies…then, two Orthodox men arrived and one told us: 'You're saving Arabs?' They pulled out knives. I managed to grab the arm of one of them, but the second one cut my stomach."
When the Jews saw blood drawn from a fellow Jew, the yeshiva mob began to flee in panic, said the man. A large police force was called to the scene.
The yeshiva student witnessing the event said: "We saw the incident and some of the people chanted against the Jewish guy, who instead of helping the Jews being beaten up helped the Arabs, and even beat up Jews…instead of helping us, he helped them."
Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, head of the nearby yeshiva, said that the Jews involved in the conflict were not students at his institute, "because there are no young guys here, only older people. It is possible that some of the [Jews] entered our yeshiva compound during the riot, because it is open to anyone."
The rabbi condemned the Jews for retaliating against the Arabs, although he said that he doesn't know exactly how the confrontation began. He suspects, however, that "it wasn't Jews who started it."
"This is a very grave incident. No man must hurt innocents, either Arabs or Jews," said Batzri. "This is against Jewish law. I really hope that they find those who took part in the brawl and bring the attackers to justice."
A hareidi female resident of the neighborhood lamented to Ladaat.Net, "I have heard a few times already about certain boys who give a bad name to both the hareidi public and this specific yeshiva."