Disturbing assault “trend” in Old City J’lem

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Monday, December 19, 2022, 8:19 A disturbing phenomenon has been developing in the Old City of Jerusalem. Arabs are assaulting Jews, mainly Hareidim, by intentionally and forcibly bumping into them as they walk through the alleys. Although physical injuries are usually minor, other aspects of the damages are significant. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher stated, “The aim of Islamic terror is to sow fear among the Jewish population and to make living in Israel and especially Jerusalem undesirable. Terrorists use a variety of ways to realize their goals. Repeated assaults on Jews by shoulder slamming and other humiliating acts constitute terror. These terrorists must be fought with great force and without concessions or closing cases.”

After Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher noticed repeated incidents of the above-mentioned assaults in video documentation from police cameras mounted throughout the Old City, he wrote a letter to the office of the State Attorney demanding that several cases be reopened.

In his letter, Bleicher wrote, “During the past year I handled four cases in which Jews were assaulted in the Old City of Jerusalem by [Arabs] who intentionally shoulder slammed them. Three of the cases were transferred to the Jerusalem District Criminal Prosecutor’s Office, which closed them within a short time. The fourth case is ‘new’ and still ongoing. This is a genuine phenomenon that constitutes ‘light terror’ in criminal terms, but in effect, its ramifications are serious considering the sensitivity of the area [the Old City].

Bleicher stressed that this was a pattern of action and not a series of coincidences: “Before us is a daily practice, a modus operandi designed to send a message of superiority, to displace Jews from the public spaces in the area, and to send a threatening message of terror to Jews walking in the streets of this section of the Old City. This area is known for being sensitive and volatile in terms of security due to the large number of serious terror incidents that have occurred there. Therefore, unfortunately, many Jews completely refrain from walking there, although it lengthens their walk by 20 minutes or more. And other Jews who choose to walk there are forced to walk with a feeling of genuine fear and apprehension of possibly [encountering] potential terrorists and with their heads bowed. This situation intensifies every assault of this type – bumping/shoulder slam – and gives it twice the force concerning both the feeling of fear and the humiliation of the victim at the actual time of the specific incident and the long-term consequences regarding the victim’s future conduct.”

In conclusion, Bleicher demanded that the office of the State Attorney reopen the three cases mentioned above and treat them with serious consideration: “Due to the particular importance of the war on terror, I demand that these cases be reopened, the assaults be treated with due seriousness and in the comprehensive context, and the penalization of the assailants be reexamined.”

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