Three members of the Shukrun family were hospitalized overnight Thursday following an attack by a group of young Arabs. Two of the family members were moderately wounded in the attack, while the third suffered light injuries.
Police said they are looking into the possibility that the attack was nationalistically-motivated, but are exploring other possibilities as well.
"I tried running away with my children and sister, but they kept coming back to hit us," Tzipi Shukrun told Ynet. "They kids are traumatized."
The family arrived at a park located in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the Jerusalem Cinematheque, to celebrate Independence Day. "We wanted to have a barbecue on the grass with my parents. I have three small children. At around 16:30 a group of Arabs, who seemed to be about 18 years old, sat next to us. It was calm; there were a number of Jewish and Arab families near us so we weren't scared. My kids played soccer with the Arab children."
'It wasn't easy.' Yonatan Shukrun at hospital (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
But as the Shukrun family was preparing to leave, the teens approached and began cursing. "My two brothers, my father and another teenager tried to prevent them from reaching my children. In response, they took out clubs, chains and a knife and began brutally attacking the children," Tzipi Shukrun recalled.
She said the assailants yelled out "Yahud (Jew)."
Tzipi said one of her brothers "was struck in the head and began bleeding, and another one of my brothers suffered a severe blow to the eye. I called the police but it took them 25 minutes to arrive at the scene.
"My brother, who served in Sayeret Matkal (elite IDF unit), arrived at the scene before the police did," she told Ynet. Police officials said officers arrived at the scene at 6:22 pm, just seven minutes after Tzipi Shukrun called.
"I tried to run away with my sister and children, but they (Arabs) kept coming back to hit us. Luckily, my brothers blocked their path. It's difficult to fathom that something like this could happen in the heart of the capital," Shukrun said.
The family documented the incident with a camera. The photos were handed over to the police, but investigators have yet to arrest any suspects.
Yonatan Shukrun, the brother who was hit in the head, told Ynet that "eight Arabs, aged 15 to 22, arrived just as we were preparing to leave. At some point they approached us and tried to reach the little kids – aged two, eight and 10.
"When we tried to stop them, they took out a whip and a knife and began hitting us. I was struck with a club. We managed to protect the women and children, but it wasn't easy," he said.
Yonatan was later treated at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
In another incident, an ultra-Orthodox man was attacked by two young Arabs in Jerusalem's Old City. He did not require medical attention. Border Guard officers detained one suspect, while the other fled the scene.