Arab riots and attacks against Jews broke out last week as rocket fire from Gaza pounded southern Israel.
Much of the violence was centered around Jerusalem but hundreds of Arabs took to the streets in Jaffa as well as other areas around Israel. Arab rioters threw stones and firebombs at IDF Border Patrol troops. Arab rioters challenged IDF checkpoints around Israel with reports of burning garbage cans as well as stone-throwing. Police’s Jerusalem District chief, Doron Turgeman, told the Kan public broadcaster on Sunday morning that the number of detainees since the unrest began has reached 157, including 54 arrested for suspected attacks with a “racist motive.”
A focus on Jerusalem
The outbreak of violence coincided with the beginning of the month-long Ramadan fast on April 13 and was focused on Jerusalem. On Thursday, Arab rioters were confronted by Jewish activists at the Damascus Gate in the old city of Jerusalem with hundreds on each side of the conflict. The Jewish protesters were led by the Lahava group under the slogan that they would “remind the Arabs who Jerusalem belongs to.”
“We’ve come here tonight,” Ben-Zion Gopstein, head of Lehava, said, “to clarify to anyone who thinks otherwise: Jerusalem is ours!”
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 24, 2021
The Arabs responded with fireworks aimed at the police and Jewish protesters while shouting “Allahu Akhbar” (Allah is greater). The Jewish protesters responded by shouting “Death to terrorists”, “Death to Arabs”, and “Revenge.”
Stun grenades and tear gas
Police succeeded in separating the two groups by using crowd control measures like stun grenades and tear gas. 50 people were arrested and over 20 policemen were injured. Confrontations broke out at the Damascus Gate on Saturday night as well.
On Thursday, Yahya Jardi, 46 from Beit Shemesh, was driving through Jerusalem when his car was surrounded by a mob of Arabs who attacked his car with rocks. He attempted to flee on foot but was caught and attacked. His car was later set on fire.
ערבים בועטים ביהודי שרוע כל הקרקע בשער שכם pic.twitter.com/zmAaAnUXdm
— גלעד כהן | Gilad Cohen (@GiladCohenJR) April 22, 2021
Also on Thursday night, an Israeli security guard was driving home throught Jerusalem when his car was attacked. His windshield was smashed and he was hit in the head by rocks, He responded by firing shots in the air and fleeing.
On Friday night, an Israeli man was viciously attacked as he took his dog for a walk in the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood in Jerusalem.
מפוצצים יהודי מכות בלב ירושלים.והתקשורת זועקת שיש יהודים שלא מוכנים לקבל מכות ולשתוק. pic.twitter.com/xVe3gYZuLB
— בנצי גופשטיין 🔥 (@kahane_zadak) April 24, 2021
The victim, Eli Rozen, told Channel 12 News that his attackers began yelling, “Yahud, Yahud” (Jew, Jew) when they saw him. “It’s a third intifada, without a doubt,” he said. “I came out fine considering the number of people who attacked me and what happened. I was a hair’s breadth from death.”
An expert sheds some light
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in Arabic studies at Bar Ilan University, explained that the current riots are quite complex in nature.
“So far, this is a wave of events that is fueling itself,” Dr. Kedar told Israel365 News. “There are all kinds of reasons in the background with no one cause or motivation. It started with one young Arab who attacked a Jew and put the video on Tik Tok. It went viral so a bunch of other young Arabs did the same thing. This is the new fad.”
“On top of that, Mahmoud Abbas is encouraging this for several reasons. He wants to distract attention from the upcoming elections in the PA because he doesn’t really want to hold the elections. Of course, humiliating Jews is just icing on the cake for Abbas. He loves it. It shows the other Arabs that despite the talks of negotiations with Israel, he is really against the Jews. This wave of violence is popular. It is the Ramadan atmosphere. At night, they break the fast so the youth have a lot of energy.”
“The PA is coming off a period when they were shamed and marginalized by the Abraham Accords. Now, because of Biden, they are once again front and center and have the power that comes with that. They are demonstrating this power in the streets. They are about to get a lot of money from Biden and money is needed to fuel terrorism. ”
“This violence in Jerusalem led to the rocket fire at Israel. Everyone in the Palestinian world is trying to show that they are a hero by hitting Israel. If Israel responds harshly against the Arab teens, it may deter them. Or it may make it worse. The Arab teens need to see the benefit of stopping the violence, either from Israel or from the PA.”
A resumption of terror attacks
David Rubin, author of Confronting Radicals: What America can learn from Israel, buttressed Kedar’s assertion saying: “It should have been obvious to all that the unconditional resumption of $290 million in support from Biden administration would lead to a resumption of terror attacks. Every Muslim who murders or wounds a Jew gets a substantial monthly salary from the Palestinian Authority. That policy has continued for two decades and it is now being encouraged and rewarded by Biden and Harris.”
A new trend on the Tik Tok app
Several other attacks against Jews were reported over the weekend in Jerusalem including a man who was beaten in the city’s east, several men who were assaulted while on their way to pray at the Western Wall, and two who were attacked at the French Hill intersection.
Many of the videos have been posted on the internet showing young Arabs targeting Orthodox Jews as a new trend on the Tik Tok app.
On Friday, Hamas led a rally in support of the Arab violence in Israel, and that night, 36 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. In response to the rocket attack, the Israeli military struck multiple Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip.
The war is constant, whether on higher flames or lower flames“ Kedar added.