Religious Zealots Severely Beat Mk on His Way to Pay Condolence Call on Family of Slain Yeshiva Stud

Knesset member Ran Cohen of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) was severely beaten and stoned by religious zealots Thursday on his way to pay a condolence call on the family of Eliahu Amdi, the yeshiva student fatally stabbed by Arabs in the Moslem quarter of the Old City last Saturday.

The attack on Cohen and continuing anti-Arab violence by Jews were denounced Thursday by Mayor Teddy Kollek, Knesset speaker Shlomo Hillel and others.

Cohen, a colonel in the reserves, was treated at Hadassah Hospital for head injuries caused by a rock. “I fought through all of Israel’s war and was never injured. Now I was hit by a Jew,” Cohen said. He stressed that his attackers came from outside the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood in West Jerusalem where Amdi’s family is observing shiva, the seven-day mourning period.

This was confirmed by local residents. Rage in the neighborhood was directed mainly at the press and toward leftists, such as Cohen. It was orchestrated by religious extremists who were identified as “outsiders.”

ANTI-ARAB VIOLENCE CONTINUES

A memorial service for Amdi was held Thursday under the watchful eyes of some 400 policemen sent to keep order. But the police have been unable to curb violence against Arabs in Shmuel Hanavi or in the Moslem quarter where Amdi was a student at the Shuvu Banim yeshiva, run by the Breslav Hasidim.

Arabs living near the yeshiva have left their homes for fear of reprisals by students. They have been subjected to harassment nightly since the murder of Amdi. Several homes were burned and Arabs have been stoned in the streets. Arabs have also engaged in stoning. A pregnant woman resident of the Old City’s Jewish quarter was grazed by a rock Thursday afternoon.

The leader of the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood committee said Thursday that the violence was likely to continue until the end of the shiva period. Kollek said that after the mourning period, “one should deal with the phenomenon of the yeshiva which consistently provokes the Arab population.”

Kollek spoke to reporters during a visit to the scene of Saturday’s murder on Khaldiye Street. He said the hotheads who have been harassing Arabs all week are serving the ends of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Knesset Speaker Hillel said on a radio interview Thursday that the police must do their utmost to prevent further hooliganism because that is exactly what the terrorist organizations want to provoke.

Meanwhile, Baruch Mazel, secretary of the Knesset faction of the extremist Kach Party, was released on bail Thursday. He had been jailed for 24 hours on suspicion of organizing riots in the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood.

NEXT STORY