Honenu demands trial for car-ramming in 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.

The Jewish couple is threatened; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 17:07 Several weeks ago, an Arab driver intentionally rammed a car driven by a Jewish couple near the Ma’aleh HaZeitim neighborhood in East Jerusalem and fled the scene. The couple’s car was damaged, but fortunately they were not injured. They filed a complaint with the police, and after investigation and examination of security cameras at the scene of the attack, the police apprehended a suspect. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher asked the Jerusalem District Attorney to charge the suspect with racially motivated assault and penalize him to the full extent of the law.

The incident began when the Arab, driving dangerously, tried to merge lanes. A Jewish driver at the scene called out through his window to the Arab driver to be careful. When the Arab driver noticed that the other driver was Jewish, he cursed him, and then intentionally rammed the right side of his car, and fled the scene. “We wanted to go shopping, but the streets were very crowded, so we decided to go home and go out later,” explained the Jewish driver. “We made a U-turn, and before the traffic circle at Ma’aleh HaZeitim, the assailant tried to merge lanes in a really dangerous way, almost hitting us. I called out to him, ‘Wait, give me the right of way.”

The Jewish driver added: “He cursed and gave us a really threatening look. I continued driving, and suddenly we heard a loud boom [caused by his car hitting ours]. My wife and I were shocked. My first instinct was to get out of the car and calmly exchange personal details. However, very quickly I understood that it would be dangerous. Arabs started to gather, so I returned to the car. I told myself that my life was more important. If there had been a baby in the back seat, he definitely would have been injured. If the impact had been from the front, it could have injured my wife. If it had been a bit stronger it could have caused serious bodily damage. It was a frightening and unpleasant situation that I don’t wish on anyone.”

After the attack, the assailant fled in reverse, and the Jewish driver phoned the police. “They [the police] told me, ‘File a claim at the station.’ I explained that I was attacked. The police answered, ‘Go to the station.’ There was a border police jeep near the circle, and the officers helped me a lot. They immediately got on their radio, called the jeep that was farther down the road, gave them a description of the assailant’s car, and accompanied us to the police station. There the police questioned us and it turned out that a suspect had been arrested.”

Despite the attack, the couple is not afraid: “I grew up in Ma’aleh HaZeitim, and we will continue to walk there without fear. Arabs won’t humiliate us. We thank the police, the border police, and the officers at the station. We feel that the terrorist should be penalized to the full extent of the law as severely as possible,” said the driver.

In the letter to the Jerusalem District Attorney, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the couple, wrote, “The rear right door of my client’s car was crushed. If the impact had been half a meter forward, it is likely that my client would have been seriously injured. If there had been children in the back seat, it is almost certain that they would have been injured.” He concluded: “I ask that the suspect be penalized to the full extent of the law and that he be charged with racially motivated attempted aggravated assault in addition to maliciously endangering human life in a traffic lane.”

Attorney Bleicher stated, “Unfortunately, Arabs constantly take advantage of opportunities for racially motivated attacks on Jews. In this case, the assailant intentionally rammed a Jewish couple’s car. Fortunately, they were not seriously injured. The law enforcement authorities must bring the perpetrator to justice. As long as there is an Islamist population living alongside us, there is a need for unequivocal penalization that will deter terrorists. They must be discouraged from attacking Jews.”

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