‘This is war’ – Jewish family nearly lynched in Jerusalem riots

Religious Zionism MK Betzalel Smotrich compares Jerusalem’s streets to a battlefield, calls for IDF troops to maintain order and clamp down on rioting.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After a night of violent rioting in Jerusalem that included Arab rock-throwers attacking the mayor’s car, widespread clashes between police and locals in the neighborhood of Shuafat, multiple acts of arson and the near-lynching of a Jewish family, right-wing politicians are calling for the government to take serious action to clamp down on the unrest.

On Wednesday night, Arab rioters launched fireworks at police officers, Jewish pedestrians and homes belonging to Jews; targeted passing motorists with Molotov cocktails and rocks. and lit fires in garbage cans throughout the eastern parts of the city.

In the Beit Hanina neighborhood, a Jewish family driving home was attacked by locals who threw rocks and other projectiles at their vehicle, shattering the windshield, according to Hebrew media reports. The family was not injured in the incident.

Mayor Moshe Lion’s car was also struck by rocks on Wednesday evening as it traveled through the Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

A video circulating on social media appeared to show an army vehicle set on fire in Issawiya. Hebrew-language media reported that two Border Patrol officers were wounded by shrapnel from improvised explosive devices in the neighborhood.

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Religious Zionism party chair Bezalel Smotrich said that the IDF should be stationed throughout the city to ensure order, and he compared the streets of Jerusalem to a battlefield.

“This is not ‘disorderly conduct’ by civilians but rather a war against an enemy. And in war as in any war – IDF forces in large numbers must be brought in tonight to the neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, [to] impose a general curfew on [rioters], stamp out the terrorist attacks with a heavy hand and shoot anyone who picks up a rock, a firebomb, a firework or a weapon,” Smotrich said in a statement on his Twitter account late Wednesday evening.

He added that Israel “cannot afford” to have riots “anywhere in the country, and certainly not in the capital city. The Arabs of this country will have to choose between a good life under the Jewish state while accepting its authority, and a war in which they will be beaten and defeated while paying heavy prices. We simply can’t go on like this.”