|The Shuafat South ("refugee camp") stop of the Jerusalem light rail, in northern Jerusalem. Most of the rock throwing and stabbing has taken place within a short distance of this stop.|
Passengers traveling on the Jerusalem Light Rail came under attack today (Thursday) by Palestinian Arabs from the capital's Beit Hanina neighborhood. Israel National News says they hurled rocks as the tram passed in Jerusalem's northern suburbs, very close to where we live. The Citipass consortium, the operator of the Jerusalem service under a thirty-year concession, says there are fortunately no injuries to travelers but plenty of worried and traumatized individuals. The windows, installed in anticipation of crude attacks from parts of the Jerusalem population, are designed to resist thrown rocks and other projectiles up to a certain specification. They crack, rather than smash, on impact when something is hurled at them. There was no interruption to train service today.
Jerusalemites are aware that there have been several previous attacks on the modernistic Jerusalem Light Rail since it started running officially less than six months ago (formally on December 1, 2011). In fact, the rocks and the attempted terrorization began even before the trams started operating officially: see our posts "11-Oct-11: Living with neighbours who want us all back to the stone age" and "6-Oct-11: Those rock throwing "youths" are proliferating".
Significant attacks on the Light Rail happened in October (when a bus also came under rock attack) and December 2011.
Then in mid-March 2012, a young woman of nineteen, doing her national service, was stabbed in an attempted murder as the tram passed through Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighbourhood, close to the site of today's attack. [See "15-Mar-12: Aftermath of today's Jerusalem stabbing attack"] Her assailant managed to inflict stab wounds to her hand and chest, mere centimeters from her heart. She is recovering, thank Heavens. The alleged attacker, one Muhamad Shuman, is currently being held in custody and awaiting criminal trial. Shortly after that stabbing, Palestinian Arab thugs attackers succeeded in cracking the glass of several windows on the train after hurling rocks at the trams, once again in the same northern Jerusalem neighbourhoods.
The Jerusalem Light Rail's sole route starts at Pisgat Ze’ev in the north of Jerusalem, through Shuafat - the bustling mostly Arab neighbourhood that some agenda-motivated news sources persist (misleadingly) in terming a refugee camp - see the picture above for a slice of reality; then along Highway 1, Yafo Road, across the Jerusalem Chords Bridge, and along Herzl Boulevard to Mt. Herzl. The route has 23 stops including one at Jerusalem’s central bus station.