Mount of Olives cemetery
Mount of Olives cemetery Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Israel Police have opened a new station on the Mount of Olives, but the routine extreme Arab violence against Jews there is continuing. The situation is so bad that taxi drivers have sent a letter to the Police Commissioner and to the Commander of the Jerusalem District, pleading with them to put an end to the rock attacks at A-Tur, against vehicles traveling to and from the Mount of Olives Cemetery.

"We are taxi van drivers who reach A-Tur several times per week and in the course of our work we drive families whose loved ones are buried at the Mount of Olives," the drivers wrote. "Every day, Arab youths hurl rocks at the taxis and miraculously, we escape with damage to the cars and not injuries or loss of life. This situation, besides being a disgrace, could one day cause a loss of life."

"It is clear to everyone that of the situation were the opposite, and Jewish youths were the ones throwing rocks at Arab cars, the matter would be treated immediately with great toughness," the drivers added. "Due to the seriousness of the situation, we hope that the police will treat the matter with an iron fist, with speed and determination, as the police know."

Yitzchak Vaknin, a driver who initiated the letter, told Arutz Sheva: "We drive up to A-Tur with families for yarzeit memorials. At certain hours, as we drive up, we get pelted with rocks from both sides of the road. There are two schools there. [The Arab students] go out of the schools. It's like a game for them. And we are pelted with rocks, boulders. We can't pass. We can't make a living."

Another driver, Pinchas Saidoff, says that he refuses to drive people to the upper part of the cemetery. "I don’t want to risk my life or theirs. It's scary. They throw boulders there, not rocks. The security guy drives in front of me, so what? They pelt him too. They realize you are Jewish and that's it. They need to put an end to it. Let them put a Border Policeman on guard every 100 meters. They walk freely in our areas but if we go through theirs, if they just smell that we are Jews, that's the end. What kind of state is this? Are we in Israeli territory, or in Gaza or Lebanon?"

Police Spokesman Miki Rosenfeld told Arutz Sheva that an extra police point has indeed been set up at the Mount of Olives to prevent incidents and to respond to them. "We've increased the amount of operations in the area, including undercover ones," he said. "Over last few weeks there have been more arrests than in previous weeks, due to the extra point and new CCTV cameras. But obviously it's something we've been taking seriously, with ongoing investigations and operations. In the same way, undercover units have been operating around Silwan and Ras el Amoud and arresting individuals that were involved in incidents."