Helicopters buzz overhead tonight at 2 in the morning. As it's Ramadan, people are still up. There's unrest in Jerusalem and an Arab driver was just shot dead near Jaffa Gate. He had plowed his black BMW sedan into a big group of soldiers who were waiting to cross the road to the Old City. Two of the 15 injured Israelis were banged up pretty badly and all went to the Ein Karem hospital. After two shots, the car came to a halt straddling the old green line; the 19 year old driver, Qassem al-Mughrabi, of the al-Farouk area of Jabel Mukaber, East Jerusalem, had a permit to live there, but no driver's license. Police said the driver had "turned" his car and ran over the group of soldiers and students on purpose. His family insisted it was an accident and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
I do wish Israeli bystanders would refrain from taking it upon themselves to be judge and jury, by "shooting to kill". The car already had stopped. There may have been concerns about a possible suicide vest. But if this were an Israeli plowing into a group of Arabs, it would be classified as a traffic accident. End of story. This perturbs me.
A couple of Arabs who strayed through this strategic crossroads were beaten up by groups of rampaging Frum, ultra-orthodox religious Jews, who crossed into the old city en masse, shouting anti-Arab slogans. With haste, the police labelled this a "terror attack" It might have been a guy losing control of a car, instead of a suicide bomber on a mission. That latter possibility is sobering. It feels tense, very tense, outside. The choppers are still whirling up there. And the moon looks swollen.