Stones were thrown Saturday at an ambulance and an MDA mobile intensive care unit near the village of Al-Azariya just a day after some young Israelis were attacked as they drove through nearby Issawiya, in east Jerusalem. The ambulance teams had been called to village to treat a young man who had fallen from the fifth floor of a building.
At about 6 pm, an ambulance was called to Al-Azariya, in the vicinity of east Jerusalem. Due to the critical condition of the patient, the intensive care unit was called. As paramedics treated the patient, a number of teens from Issawiya began throwing stones at the vehicle, making the paramedics' task difficult. The windscreen of the vehicles was damaged, as was another Israeli vehicle that was driving behind them.
Hagai Bar-Tov, an MDA paramedic, spoke of those minutes of fear. "On the way to the hospital, as the paramedics treated the patient we had to take care of our own lives at the same time," he said. "A shower of stones fell on us Luckily the vehicle was armored, so the windscreen was damaged but not completely broken in."
"Unfortunately, we see once again how terror groups operate without limits, even when it's clear to all that ambulances don't do any damage anywhere in the world" said Danny Rotenberg, MDA spokesman in the Jerusalem region. "The team, which was in the middle of intensive treatment saving the life of a seriously wounded Palestinian patient, feared for its life, making the situation even worse."
The students and tourist, who only wanted to go to a pub in the city, almost paid with their lives after making a wrong turn. They said they followed the directions of children in the neighborhood and almost reached the center of Issawiya. When they tried to go back they saw the street was blocked, and saw the eldest child who had given directions throw stones at them. None of the group was injured, despite the shower of stones.
The Jerusalem Post
Arabs stone university students, MDA ambulance in Isawiya
By MELANIE LIDMAN
The group was visiting a friend near Mount Scopus when they were met with heavy rock throwing; police believe attack was planned in advance.
Youth from Isawiya threw stones at a car carrying four students who took a wrong turn out of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and found themselves lost in the Arab neighborhood on Friday night.
The students, from the Central region, reportedly asked a teenage resident for directions to Ben-Yehuda street in downtown Jerusalem, and the youth told them to keep driving straight.
Within minutes, the students were surrounded by dozens of youth throwing rocks and bricks at their car, and when they tried to flee, they found the road had been blocked by chairs and a chainlink fence.
The students managed to contact the police, but by the time border policemen arrived the students had driven through the make-shift road block and had exited the neighborhood. Officers were able to disperse the stone-throwers, and no one was arrested. None of the students were hurt, though the car was damaged.
On Saturday night, residents of Isawiya threw rocks off a cliff at three vehicles, including two Magen David Adom ambulances, driving along the old road between French Hill and Ma'aleh Adumim. There were no injuries but the vehicles were lightly damaged. No one was arrested.
Stones have been thrown in east Jerusalem almost every day for the past six months, and dozens of Arab youth have been arrested. On October 8, David Be'eri, the head of the rightwing Ir David Foundation (Elad), hit (with his car) two boys who were throwing stones at his car in the Silwan neighborhood. The next week, youths threw stones at a van carrying Knesset members on a visit to the heavily fortified Jewish Beit Yehonatan apartment building in Silwan.
The Knesset's Committee for the Rights of the Child convened a special meeting after the Be'eri incident to examine the problem of dealing with youth younger than 12, the age of criminal responsibility, who throw stones. Police are not able to bring children below this age in for questioning, though the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has documented police arresting children as young as eight.
Jerusalem District police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post last month that police are trying new strategies to deal with young kids throwing stones, including parental intervention.
In the four months from July to October, police documented 450 incidents of stone-throwing in east Jerusalem, about four per day. During that same period, police arrested 76 people for throwing rocks. Thirty were aged 12 to 18, and 46 were adults.