Israeli students having a festive Sabbath meal at their religious Jerusalem seminary used the first objects within arm’s reach – including steaming hot potato and meat stew — to fend off a mob of Palestinian rock throwers who had broken into their boarding school Friday night, Israeli media are reporting.
According to the reports, about 15 Palestinians barged into the Diaspora Yeshiva which is located on Mount Zion and began throwing rocks at the students during dinner.
Israel National News reported:
The rocks shattered the front door, creating panic in the dining hall for the unarmed yeshiva students. In response, students began throwing whatever they could at the rioters to defend themselves from the attack, including metal chairs and even boiling water.
Eventually, the students lobbed a pot of cholent, the traditional meat stew kept hot overnight on Shabbat, at the rioters; the terrorists fled and did not return.
The Orthodox Jewish website Behadrey Haredim reported that some of the attackers sustained burns and fled when the water and hot stew turned into defensive weapons.
The seminary students were alarmed initially that the intruders might be carrying guns, the website reported, and several of them fled the dining hall. However, it later became clear that they were armed with rocks only.
Yossi Yisraeli, a student, told Behadrey Haredim, “While singing Sabbath songs, rocks were thrown at us. We immediately fled, and I went to alert the security forces, but they arrived half an hour late. It was only by miracle that there were no injuries [among the students].”
The school administration gathered students over the weekend to call for restraint, asking them not to react violently in the wake of the attack.
“We call on all yeshiva students to exercise restraint and remain composed [in the face of further attacks], so that calm can be restored to Mount Zion,” seminary head Rabbi Avraham Goldstein said Sunday according to Israel’s Arutz Sheva news site.
“This is a precedent,” Goldstein said. “This is the first time something like this has happened on Mount Zion. We have good relations with all the religions in this place, and we hope the police will treat this incident with utmost seriousness.”
Tensions are running high in Jerusalem following the discovery last week of the body of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khudair. Palestinians and his family insisted his killing was a revenge attack following the killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. On Sunday, an Israeli official said that a number of Jewish suspects had been arrested in connection with the investigation and that the killing was driven by “nationalistic” motives.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation.
Since Abu Khudair was killed, there have been daily clashes between Palestinians throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and Israeli police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that “20 Arabs involved in disturbances” were arrested Friday night and that 13 police officers were lightly injured from stones and blocks thrown at them during the riots in the eastern part of the city.
Photos subsequent to the dining hall attack seen at this link showed police tape sealing off the entrance to the educational institution.