Jerusalem riots
Jerusalem riots Photo: Jamal Awad/Flash90

Yahya Jardi, the Jew who was attacked yesterday in East Jerusalem, talks about his harrowing experience at the hands of a riot on Thursday night. "They came to kill me there. I got pelted with stones,my car windows were smashed, and I was beaten repeatedly.”

Jardi, a father of nine, was on his way to pray in Arabic at the Western Wall and was attacked near the Damascus Gate. He was thrown to the floor during the lynching attempt. His vehicle was set on fire and burned beyond repair. From his hospital bed, he recounts: ''I was standing in a traffic jam, and was suddenly attacked with stones. My windows were smashed, and I was beaten. One attempted to stab me with a knife. I thought I would die then and there.”

Nati Rom of the Chonenu organization, who fired his handgun into the air during the disturbance in Jerusalem, said that he saved his life when he managed to fend off the rioters.

''Dozens of rioters ran into the intersection with rocks and began to hit vehicles and pedestrians. They approached us and continued to throw stones. People were getting hurt. My one round fired into the air was what actually stopped the riot and drove the attackers away.”

Yossi Mualem, a paramedic from United Hatzalah who treated Jardi, commented: "The scene was ugly. He said that he felt in mortal danger and fled the car. He seems to have been struck in the head. He told me that ‘I have no strength left. I am going to die.’”

Police said more than 50 people had been arrested over the past night, and they would be brought to a hearing in Jerusalem’s municipal court today. About 20 policemen were injured in the clashes and the police used tear gas, pumper trucks, and stun grenades.

Hundreds of Arabs rioted at the Damascus Gate, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers. Clashes continued even after police forces left the scene. In an incident near the Flower Gate, a Jewish driver was attacked while driving. When he tried to escape, he was beaten and his car burned. A brawl also broke out in the Mahane Yehuda market in the city.

In another incident, dozens of young people threw stones at police officers on Van Passen Street in East Jerusalem. Police forces dispersed the rioters by force.

The Jerusalem District Police and Border Police called in considerable reinforcements for the protest march from Safra Square to the Damascus Gate organized by Lehavah

Hundreds of young people took part in the march, shouting anti-Arab slogans. The police created a buffer between Jews and Arabs between the Damascus Gate and the Neviim junction in Jerusalem. Hundreds of meters away from the Jews, hundreds of Arabs gathered, throwing stones and firing fireworks at the police line. Three suspects were arrested in the act.

During the demonstration, police arrested a suspect who tried to throw a fence placed at the scene at a police horse. The suspect was taken for questioning by the police.

At the same time, and after the protesters were ordered to disperse,, the police forces began dispersing them towards Road 1 by force.

The chairman of the Lehavah organization, Benzi Gupstein, told the demonstrators: "Thousands of Jews came here tonight with an unequivocal demand from the Israeli government and the police, to defend our national honor. We are not prepared to accept daily attacks and humiliations by Arabs against Jews as a matter of routine. "

During the demonstration, Gupstein said: "We came here to tell everyone that this land belongs to us. The same Arab who threw a Jew’s hat from his head, wants to take his head off. Whoever wants to take a Jew’s head off must lose his own.”

Even before the march began, police forces forcefully dispersed riots near the Damascus Gate, during which Arabs threw stones and bottles at police officers. One policeman was slightly injured by a stone in his face.

Earlier yesterday, the police arrested four suspects who attacked a passerby near the Jaffa Gate. The assailant fled the scene and his identity is not yet known. Shortly afterwards, police officers operating near Nevi'im Street in Jerusalem arrested a suspect for throwing stones at another person.

At the same time, the police are continuing to investigate the recent incidents of violence, some of which were even published on TikTok, including public disorder, damage to property, and riots for which 79 suspects have been arrested so far. A prosecutor's statement was filed today in preparation for an indictment to be filed in the coming days by the State Attorney's Office against two of the suspects.

The police said: "We will allow every person the right to protest and freedom of expression in accordance with the law, but we will act with zero tolerance towards any manifestation of violence, disturbance and violation of public safety.”

In light of the events of recent days, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, has instructed to increase security on streetcars in order to deal with possible incidents of passenger violence and to enforce safety and security regulations. The mayor also instructed to increase the number of cameras in public spaces in order to monitor events and enforce public order.