A number of Molotov cocktails were hurled Thursday evening at a bus traveling in Jerusalem's
Mount Scopus area, not far from the Hebrew University campus.
"You wouldn't expect something like this to happen near the university, in the heart of the State of Israel,"
said the driver, who was returning from a bar mitzvah at the Western Wall.
According to the driver, 40 of his relatives were on the bus when it was attacked. "After the bar mitzvah we decided to visit the Mount Scopus area, but our leisurely trip quickly turned into a nightmare when firebombs and stones were thrown at the bus," he recalled.
"It's a miracle that the Molotov cocktails didn’t burn the bus down. We were scared to death. Children and adults began to scream and cry. When I recovered I floored the gas pedal, but I managed to catch a glimpse of the assailants – four or five hooded youngsters. I drove another kilometer or so before calling the police, who arrived within a few minutes."
Officers combed the area, but the assailants have not been apprehended as of yet.
Yosef Qandiati, who attends Hebrew University, rushed to the scene. "The bus's windows were scorched. The driver and passengers were in shock. The incident could have ended in tragedy," he said.
Students at the university say stone-throwing incidents in the area, where the village of Issawiya is located, are not uncommon. Student representatives recently met with senior police officials to discuss the need for increased security near the campus.
Itay Gottler, who heads the student union at Hebrew University, said "it's just a matter of time before there is bloodshed here. The authorities must act to curb the violence through enforcement and by improving education and infrastructure in neighborhoods located near the campus."
Tomer Velmer contributed to the report