Knesset members attacked by Arabs in Jerusalem

Smotrich told reporters at the scene that the way to deal with the violence is not as a police problem, or a series of sporadic attacks, but as part of a national struggle by Arabs to drive Jews from their land.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich projected calm after he and a delegation of his fellow party members were attacked by Arab stone-throwers on Monday.

The rioters threw rocks, shot fireworks and threw firebombs at the MKs, Arutz 7 reports.

While holding one of the rocks that the Arabs threw and which shattered a window of a mini-bus, Smotrich said, “What we have here is a national struggle.”

“The State of Israel and the Israeli police need to push back this terror with an iron first – not with ‘understanding,’ not with surrender, not with concessions – but with a determined, pain-inducing iron fist in order that Jews can live and wander freely in every part of Israel, and, of course, in Jerusalem,” Smotrich said.

The delegation had been visiting a scene of frequent attacks in eastern Jerusalem near the Beit Orot yeshiva, which had been vandalized during Arab riots that began at the start of Ramadan, Arutz 7 reports.

Last Thursday night proved especially violent as Israelis marched in protest and Arabs responded with fury. The Arab riots are an escalation of earlier attacks designed to humiliate individual Jews. In some cases, the attacks were filmed and uploaded to social media.

Smotrich told reporters at the scene that the way to deal with the violence is not as a police problem, or a series of sporadic attacks, but as part of a national struggle by Arabs to drive Jews from their land. Smotrich said it’s what the Arabs themselves are saying.

“Look at this rock,” Smotrich said, asking the reporters to imagine the bus he was standing in filled with children and warning a reporter to take care not to cut himself on broken glass. “This is attempted murder… Someone who heaves a block like this at an unprotected vehicle deserves a bullet center-mass to kill him because he’s a terrorist.”

Bezalel Smotrich

Knesset MK Bezalel Smotrich holds a stone that was thrown at a mini bus during a visit at the Beit Orot yeshiva in Jerusalem, April 26, 2021. (Flash90/Olivier Fitoussi)

Arabs blame the riots on barricades that the police put up to prevent them from congregating on steps leading to the Damascus Gate. On Sunday, Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai ordered the barricades removed. Smotrich and others in his party attacked the decision as giving in to the violence.

Arutz 7 reports that Arabs celebrated the news, chanting “In blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.”

Later on Monday, it was reported that two policewomen were injured and required medical attention when Arabs threw a table and other items at them in Jerusalem.