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Girl hit by stun grenades in Meah She’arim

Israel Police reported that residents of the Meah She’arim neighborhood in Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon threw eggs and stones at them, necessitating a response that included stun grenades.

However, when the police used stun grenades, a young girl who was not involved in the incident was injured, suffering burns to her face.

Israel Police later responded to harsh criticism of their conduct in quelling the protest, saying that they did not notice the presence of mother and child.

Meanwhile, video footage shows the grenade being cast directly at the young girl, uninvolved in the incident, and she and her mother sustained injuries.

MK Michael Malchieli (Shas) said: “One must take a firm stance against those who disturb the public order with violent means, and especially against those who attack security forces.”

“But to see videos like these, terrible scenes, including the throwing of a stun grenade into the face of a young girl, shouldn’t happen in any scenario. In such crowded areas, special caution must be exercised.”

MK Yaakov Tessler (UTJ) demanded that the police be brought to account for the throwing of a stun grenade directly at bystanders, resulting in the girl’s injury.

“It is horrifying to see such violence on the part of police,” he said.

“This is a very disturbing incident involving disproportionate use of violence by police, in a crowded neighborhood against innocent bystanders. There is no justification for people who disturb the public order, but police are expected to act with restraint, intelligence, and with great caution especially when in close quarters.”

“Such police behavior results in … a total lack of trust in the police among the haredi population,” he added. “I call for the police to be brought to account for their behavior in these criminal acts, and for this grave incident to be thoroughly investigated.”

Zissy Margaliot, the 9-year-old girl who suffered injuries on Thursday when she was hit by a stun grenade, spoke about the incident, describing her experiences.

Speaking to Ynet, Margaliot said that her head felt like it was “burning” and that when the stun grenade hit her, she began searching for someone who could help her.

“They put creams on her,” her father, Dov, said. “She was in pain and couldn’t sleep all night, she’s traumatized. She was in shock at first.”

“She went to buy groceries for Shabbat (Sabbath) and didn’t know about anything. Suddenly police appeared and as she walked innocently, they threw a stun grenade. Suddenly she had no more glasses, and she was in the middle of the smoke running as if from death.”

Israel Police Brigadier General Ofer Shomer, who commands the Zion headquarters, told Kan Reshet Bet that “the grenade was not thrown towards where they were standing.”

He also said that he does not believe the police took things too far: “This is the minimum of the minimum. There were no cudgels used, they used appropriate force.”

A senior figure in the Jerusalem police said that “the officers were in real danger of their lives. They began an enforcement operation and they were attacked incessantly with stones and metal bars. We heard their screams on the radio, they were shrieking.”

MK Moshe Arbel (Shas) has written to the head of the Police Investigations Department, asking that the violence yesterday in Meah She’arim, in the course of which a nine-year-old girl was injured in the face by a stun grenade, be investigated.

“The Meah She’arim neighborhood is one of the most densely populated areas in the country,” he wrote.

“Police failed to take this into account in their handling of the incident, and this should be investigated.”

Header: Border police officers block a main road following the government’s measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in Bnei Brak (AP Photo/Oded Balilty,)