A fire broke out on Friday night at the home of a Jewish family in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem at approximately 11:00 PM, after several firebombs were allegedly thrown at the building.
Significant damage was done to the house. The family members were not present at the time and miraculously no one was injured. Firefighters were called to the scene and found what are suspected to be the remains of several firebombs.
Members of the family affected have previously reported severe harassment by their neighbors, and their vehicles have been set on fire nine times in recent months.
A resident of the neighborhood told Ynet that he had heard knocks on his door and people fleeing the area, and had gone outside to see smoke rising from the torched house. "I am the only non-Jew still talking to that family in this neighborhood," he commented. "Perhaps they wanted to warn me because my house is next to his."
The neighbor added: "I quickly called the police and thought about breaking in, because we knew he had small children, babies, and I thought of rescuing them. Luckily his family was not home; presumably, they were at a friends' house. This is yet another escalation, an attempt to burn a family with babies. What are we, ISIS? I was immediately reminded of the story of Duma. We are not animals. I live next to this man and could have been harmed as well. Thankfully, no one was injured in the end."
Tal Yushuvayev, the owner of the house targeted, commented "I appealed to whoever I could, begged them to stop the Arab terror directed against my family just hundreds of meters from the Israel Police's national headquarters, but the police and the government preferred to invest their energies in harassing the Hilltop Youth. This time, miraculously, there were no injuries. Next time - who knows? The bloodshed here is the fault of the government and the police who continue to abandon us."
MK Itamar Ben-Gvir (Religious Zionism) commented on the incident, blaming lax police presence in the neighborhood.
"There is no law and no justice. The writing was on the wall and we warned about it several times," said Ben-Gvir. "The police are abandoning the residents instead of protecting them from bloodthirsty rioters. Commissioner Kobi Shabtai has failed in his duty. He should resign immediately, and if he does not, he should be dismissed."
MK Ben Gvir added: "If it was a matter of spray-painting graffiti, the police would lay in ambush day and night to catch the culprits. At first, it was just nine different times when someone's car was burned; this time it was someone's house, and it could have ended in disaster." He has declared his intention to move his parliamentary office to the neighborhood as a mark of solidarity.
MK Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionism) commented on the incident as well, saying "On Saturday, Arab rioters set fire to Tal's house in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood. This is after his vehicle was burned 9 times. The Minister of Public Security and the Israel Police are asleep. If the police do not wake up next time it will end in much greater damage. Take care of the rioters now and immediately,"
MK Mossi Raz (Meretz) has denounced Ben-Gvir's planned move to Shimon Hatzadik, saying "Attempting to set up a parliamentary chamber in Sheikh Jarrah is trying to stir up the situation, as Ben-Gvir did last May. Sheikh Jarrah should be visited by Knesset members, but not to inflame the situation - instead, to renounce the injustice that is taking place there and to participate in the weekly demonstration on Friday afternoons demanding justice."
The Jerusalem District Commander has ordered police to intensify the overt and covert police activity in the area, and assigned the case to the Jerusalem District Central Unit. The district commander instructed investigators to involve special forces and to investigate the case thoroughly and with all the necessary means, in order to bring to justice those involved in the incident.