Emergency crew responding on scene of accident find themselves the target of violent mob
An emergency medical crew narrowly escaped being lynched this week while responding on the scene of an injurious car accident near Jerusalem, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
The fateful call came on Tuesday; a car carrying a group of Palestinian youths from east Jerusalem swerved off the road and hit a safety barrier near the village of Hizm.
Upon reaching on the scene the crew began treating two young women who were hurt in the crash. But their efforts were interrupted with the arrival of the victims’ family members, whose misguided attempts to defend the women quickly turned violent.
“Suddenly, a Volkswagen came to a screeching halt and three Arab youths emerged,” said S., a paramedic. “They started to curse and tried to discern who hurt the women.”
The crew’s account of the accident failed to pacify the enraged men, who upped the verbal attack.
“They started cursing the IDF, Magen David Adom and everything affiliated with the state,” S. said. “They called us ‘maniacs and f***ing Jews.’ We were shocked by how angry they were.”
Meanwhile, more Palestinians gathered around them. When some began hitting the ambulance, the paramedic took charge of protecting his crew mates – a female driver and a 16-year-old male volunteer.
“I told them to lock themselves in the ambulance while I remained outside to deal with the situation,” S. said, “The attackers cursed and pushed me. At one point more than ten people surrounded me and began punching me in the ribs and the head.”
‘Never seen anything like this’
A security officer from the nearby settlement of Ma’ale Levona who was alerted to the scene said that the three youths started to hit S. once a Palestinian ambulance arrived.
“They said, ‘our ambulance is here. Get out of here.’ And then they began punching him with their fists,” the officer, Shlomo Zaarur said.
The mob was dispersed with the arrival of the police, who arrested the three assailants, all of whom reside in east Jerusalem and possess Israeli identification cards. They were to be arraigned on Friday, and are expected to be indicted.
S., who has served as a paramedic for 12 years, was treated at the hospital was later discharged to recuperate at home.
“I’ve been through many things and treated many Arabs who were injured in accidents. But I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he said. “It hurts. My job is to help and save people. It’s really sad the way it ended.”
By Akiva Novick