Police Security Increased in Jerusalem Following the Stabbing of Two Brothers in the Old City
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Police Security Increased in Jerusalem Following the Stabbing of Two Brothers in the Old City

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Police have increased security here following the stabbing of two brothers on Saturday in an Old City bazaar. The victims, Avi Chayon, 24, and his brother, Shalom, 17, were reported in satisfactory condition after undergoing surgery. According to eyewitnesses, the two brothers were stabbed in the back by several Arabs who apparently had been lurking in an alley.

The brothers were stabbed in the Kahn E-Zeit bazaar where they had been strolling with Avi Chayon’s fiancee, Leah Azulai. She was not harmed. Police sealed all gates to the Old City immediately afterwards and ordered Arab shops in the area closed for their protection. The closure order was later rescinded.

The incident brought to eight the number of Jews stabbed by Arab assailants in the Old City and other parts of East Jerusalem since August 1985. Last November a yeshiva student was stabbed to death. This touched off a wave of anti-Arab violence by Jewish militants. Mayor Teddy Kollek appealed to Jews following Saturday’s incident not to attack Arabs or their property as they did in November.

But a number of Arabs were beaten up near the scene of the attack and four Jewish residents of the Musrara quarter where the Chayons live were detained for attacking Arab passersby. Riot police patrolled the streets in and around the quarter Saturday night and Sunday. A Jewish man was arrested Sunday evening near the Damascus Gate in possession of five Molotov cocktails. He was questioned about his intent.


Premier Yitzhak Shamir called for increased police presence in Jerusalem. “Police have orders to strengthen security, to increase their guard and alertness,” he said Sunday, “and we shall use all means to ensure such incidents do not recur.”

Police Minister Haim Barlev briefed the Cabinet on the stabbing which police described as the work of Arab terrorists. He toured the Old City and complained afterward that although there were many eyewitnesses to the stabbing, no one, neither Jew nor Arab, came forward to tell police what actually happened.

Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who heads the Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem, said security forces were taking all necessary measures to apprehend the assailants. Israeli Police Chief David Kraus said his officers alone cannot solve the problem. He told reporters that Jerusalem is “an integrated city, and we must create conditions by which we (Jews and Arabs) can live side by side.”

After the assault on the Chayon brothers, there were few tourists in the normally bustling marketplace. Barlev told the Voice of Israel Sunday that Jerusalem is one of the safest cities in the world. He urged more Jews and tourists in general to visit the Old City, but he cautioned that they should do so preferably in groups and to be aware of what is going on around them.

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