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Friday, October 12, 2007

Three Jewish boys escape lynching

Three teenage Jewish boys from the Samarian town of Beit El got into a taxi around 5:00 this morning at the French Hill intersection and asked to be driven home. Instead, the taxi's Arab driver drove them into the Shuafat refugee camp where they were nearly lynched. One of the boys managed to call police before his cell phone was taken and the police came and dispersed the crowd.
Three Jewish boys from Jerusalem [the other two accounts both say that the boys were from Beit El. Those accounts are linked below. CiJ] were kidnapped by an Arab driver and surrounded by a lynch-mob just before police rescued them Friday.

The three boys entered a car - a cab according to some accounts - at the French Hill junction in northern Jerusalem and asked to be brought to the town of Beit El, north of the capital.

The driver, an Israeli-Arab, drove into the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat instead, home to a radical neighborhood considered a refugee camp for the past 60 years. There, two other men joined him, demanding the youths’ money and cell phones.

The driver and his accomplices threw the boys out of the cab in the middle of the camp, where an angry mob began surrounding them.

One of the boys managed to call 100, Israel’s version of 911, before his phone was taken away and Police arrived just as the mob was preparing to attack the youths. A conflicting report had one of the boys climbing to a rooftop and screaming for help, alerting the police. The crowd dispersed and police announced that the incident was “criminally motivated.”

I know that a lot of you are probably asking why teenage boys would be getting into a taxi at 5:00 AM. I don't have an answer. 5:00 AM is just before sunrise here now - the sun rose today at 5:39. And Israeli kids generally have a lot fewer restrictions as teenagers than their counterparts in other countries. But I really cannot answer that question for you.

The other question you're probably asking is why they got into a taxi driven by an Arab driver. Arutz Sheva answers that question for you:

Some cab companies have faced legal action for hiring only Jewish drivers and a large portion of Jerusalem’s cab drivers are Arabs. Security experts suggest reading the cabbie’s ID plaque, posted between the front and back doors, to determine the nationality of the driver by name. Others say the only way to insure one is entering a safe cab is to use reliable companies rather than flagging down passing taxis.

IDF soldiers are prohibited from hitchhiking after several incidents of Arabs pretending to be Jews on their way to communities in Judea and Samaria, in fact seeking to kidnap them.

For those of you with children here in Israel, listen up. Tell your kids to call a taxi from a reliable company or use reliable companies. A lot of the post-high school kids here from abroad actually have one or two or three cabbies that they call directly when they need a taxi. If you have someone you can trust, that's the best way to go. Most of us who live here know which companies hire only Jewish drivers. And reading the cabbie's ID plaque is useless because the person who holds the license is often not the driver and because many of the ID plaques are folded over so you won't be able to see. I do flag taxis in the middle of the street, but I also know my way around and will always tell the driver which way to go. If he (there might be one woman cab driver in all of Jerusalem) doesn't listen to me, I'm out of his car.

YNet adds that the police believe this incident is 'criminal' and not 'nationalistic.' I don't believe that. Why did a mob of 'Palestinians' just happen to be waiting for this cabbie to bring these kids back at 5:00 AM? Haaretz claims it's 'unclear' whether the motives were criminal or nationalistic. It seems pretty clear to me.

Please don't hitch and don't let your kids hitch!


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