Jerusalem yeshiva student arrested after attacking Arabic-speaking detectives

12:00 Apr 30 2013 Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, Jerusalem

Students at Mercaz Harav Kook yeshiva in Jerusalem. Photo by Daniel Bar-On

Jerusalem yeshiva student arrested after attacking Arabic-speaking detectives
Police are looking for the other four students involved in the attack, the latest of several nationalist-motivated assaults on Arabs.

By Nir Hasson for Haaretz

A young student from Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Kook national-religious yeshiva was arrested Tuesday, a day after he and his friends attacked two police detectives speaking Arabic to each other.

Five students heard the Jerusalem Police detectives' conversation and approached them. They exchanged words with the detectives and returned to the yeshiva building. After several minutes, they returned to the spot armed with tear-gas spray cans. The students sprayed one of the detectives and physically attacked the other one. The detectives tussled with the students and arrested one of them, while the other four fled. One of the detectives was taken for medical treatment after the attack.

Mercaz Harav Kook is the most prominent yeshiva in the religious Zionist movement. It trained the movement's leading rabbis as well as many yeshiva heads, city rabbis and teachers in religious colleges and high schools. The yeshiva sits in the heart of Jerusalem's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, which has been the setting for a number of recent physical attacks by Jews on Arabs. The Jerusalem Police said the attacks do not appear to be coordinated.

After Monday's attack on the detectives, two of the assailants ran into the yeshiva, while the other two fled into the surrounding streets. The yeshiva's principal is being questioned to help ascertain the assailants' identities, and searches are being conducted to locate them. The arrested suspect refuses to talk with police or cooperate with the investigation.

Several nationalist-tinged assaults on Arabs have made the news lately. Last week, four anonymous assailants set fire to cars in the Arab village of Akbara, near the northern Israeli city of Safed. "Don’t touch our women. Price Tag," was spray painted on a nearby wall. Safed Police are looking into whether the arson attack was motivated by the arrest a week earlier of two youths from Safed for severely beating a youth from Akbara who had met with a Jewish teenage girl from the city.

Two months ago, Jewish women assaulted an Arab woman near the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood. An eyewitness said the attack occurred in broad daylight and in front of passersby while the Arab woman was waiting for the Jerusalem light rail at a stop at the edge of the neighborhood.
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