Like the rest of the world, Jerusalem was reeling today after the stunning air, sea, and land attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad forces on Israel. This much is sure: Nothing will ever be the same. But the future is uncertain.
Last night, the events in Gaza ricocheted into Jerusalem. On the one hand, among Palestinians, there was widespread pride and a sense of freedom and restored honor and dignity.
On the other hand, confrontations and demonstrations erupted across the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city, including Wadi al-Joz, Silwan, Ras al-Amud, Jabal Mukabbir, al-Tur, Shu‘fat refugee camp, and Kufr ‘Aqab.
Some religious leaders warned youth to stay home and not risk aggression from settlers, police, or soldiers who were out for revenge in some places. One of these was Bishop Atallah Hanna, who issued this public warning: “To our youth: be careful when you go out and only go out if it is absolutely necessary.” He witnessed and videotaped Palestinian cars being stopped by flag-waving Israelis who were forcing Palestinian drivers out of their cars and beating them on the back road of Shu‘fat, near the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev.
Palestinians (mostly citizens of Israel) who live in some of the Israeli settlements near Jerusalem are extremely concerned and worried about potential acts of revenge against them. “We are worried. The situation is very, very difficult,” shared a Palestinian resident of Pisgat Ze’ev, who preferred not to be identified for fear of retaliation.