The Jerusalem Light Rail came under a hail of stones in five separate attacks Saturday evening. All of the incidents took place in East Jerusalem, near the village of Shuafat, highlighting the perils the rapid transit system faces in the Palestinian parts of the city.
In four of the attacks, the windows of the trains were damaged. No one was wounded and the police or security forces have yet to make an arrest.
In Shuafat, unknown assailants pelted the light train’s cars as it traveled from the Es-Sahl station to the French Hill.
In some of the cases there were security forces on the train to mitigate the attacks, which have been on the rise as of late, and in one case police managed to apprehend some of the stone throwers.
In response to a query by Ynet, CityPass, which operates the rail, said the cars might need to be put into maintenance, threatening to slow the trains’ activities during the Sukkut holidays, an especially hectic time in the capital.
“We are doing every effort to get the maximum number of trains out this morning, but at no point will we compromise on security,” a spokesperson for the rail told Ynet.
The recent two months have seen a rise in the number of attacks on the train, especially in the Palestinian parts of the city. Those using the Light Rail for their daily commute say incidents in the Shuafat and Beit Hanina stations have become routine.
According to data by the Light Rail, since riots broke out in July in wake of a string of violent incidents in the West Bank between Israelis and Palestinians, which included the kidnap murder of three Israeli teens and the murder of a Palestinian boy in retribution by Jewish extremists, over 100 cases of attacks on the train have been reported.
According to the data, the majority of the attacks are at night, sometimes up to three an hour. In some cases, the cars’ windows are shattered, forcing the rail to take it temporarily out of use. The damage caused by these attacks during the past two months is estimated by the company at roughly half a million NIS.
The most severe incident in recent weeks took place at the end of September, when Palestinian rioters threw stones at the light train in Shuafat. No injuries were reported, but the train suffered damage to both doors and windows.