Monday, July 14, 2014

The Arab attacks on the light rail in Jerusalem were not spontaneous

Elder of Ziyon

Ten days ago we saw images of Arabs rioting and destroying the light rail system in Jerusalem that served - them.

Arab rioters in Shuafat, the hometown of murdered Arab teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir, launched bombs at three light rail stations over the July 4th holiday weekend and severed the train lines to ensure that the system is beyond repair, according to sources on the ground who toured the city.

Shuafat has been one of the main epicenters of violence and riots in Jerusalem since it was announced that Israeli citizens killed Khdeir in an apparent revenge attack for the recent kidnapping and murder by Hamas of three Jewish teenagers.

Rioters in the city were spotted pulling up pieces of the sidewalk near the rail station and using handheld saws to cut into the rail line, which was completed about three years ago.

Others spray painted violent messages against Israel, including one that read: “Death to Israel,” according to photographs.
A new IMRA report shows that not only did Israel manage to get the light rail up and running again, but it appears that these attacks were anything but spontaneous:

The CityPass Jerusalem light rail service wasn't just trashed by rioters in the Arab Shuafat neighborhood, it was systematically destroyed.

Arab teams came in with jackhammers to reach the copper cable wire running by the tracks while other teams came with equipment to saw off massive electric poles as others brought in trucks to pour cement on tracks while fuel was poured on the tracks to burn off the rubber elements. Discussion groups on the Internet speculated that it would take up to a year to restore service and that service would run next to Shuafat rather than through the middle of the neighborhood.

Why the systematic destruction? One veteran Israeli reporter told IMRA that Fatah was behind the move as they control the taxi service from Shuafat to the rest of the city and destroying the light rail was a move to restore a major source of income.

But it didn't take a year to restore service.

This Sunday CityPass was already running their trains per the regular schedule.

CityPass COO Shay Eisenberg told IMRA that while the service is up and running that there is a lot of work yet to be completed. Since the traffic lights in the neighborhood and communications were destroyed, the train "has to cross intersections like a car without a traffic light". The two stations in Shuafat were completely destroyed so passengers board in a
makeshift arrangement.
Spontaneous rioters don't usually form into teams to grab jackhammers, cement trucks and chainsaws.

It seems to me that some people have been hoping for and planning a third intifada for a while, and the light rail was a natural target:
  • It helps unify Jerusalem
  • It is a symbol of Jews and Arabs traveling together
  • It was the object of BDS wrath

So while I don't know about the taxi service claim, the idea that the light rail had been chosen ahead of time to be a focus for an uprising seems quite likely.

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