A family accidentally drove into the Arab neighborhood of Wadi Joz in Jerusalem on Thursday night, and nearly paid for the wrong turn in Israel's capital city with their lives.
After entering the neighborhood, the family car was beset upon by a hail of potentially lethal rocks and massive bricks that broke the windshield, in what the mother of the family Etti Cohen described to Yedioth Aharonoth as "nearly a lynch-mob." Fortunately the family managed to escape with only minor physical wounds.
"I feel like we got out of there by a miracle," Cohen recalled tearfully. "I woke up this morning and the first thing that happened to me was hysterical crying, because I don't believe that we're at home and safe."
Recounting the incident, Cohen stated that around 6:15 p.m. the family arrived at the area of the Kotel (Western Wall).
"We aren't from Jerusalem, so we used a navigation program that told us to turn right - so we turned right," said Cohen. "In the first seconds everything was okay."
The family quickly noticed that all the signs were in Arabic, and that people in the narrow road started to stare at them with a stare Cohen described as "why did you come here? What are you doing here?"
Cohen said she told her family "we aren't supposed to be here," at which her daughter, who was driving, tried to quietly get them out of the neighborhood.
Victims to a trap
However, the family was evidently the victim of a pre-planned ambush.
"Suddenly a boy around 12-years-old came to the window of my husband, who sat on the left side. ...The child started knocking on the window as we were driving," recalled Cohen, noting suddenly there were screams in the street and three cars blocked their forward movement.
At that point, Cohen said the bricks started flying, with the first breaking through the rear windshield: "that was a shock. I didn't believe it was happening to us. Another rock hit the window of my husband who sat behind my daughter who was driving, and broke it in. A third rock came through the broken rear windshield and hit the headrest of the friend of my son who was with us."
Cohen's daughter snapped out of her shock, stepping on the gas and driving onto the sidewalk to get around the stopped cars, as Cohen got the police on the phone and "simply screamed on the line. Everyone in the car screamed, there was fear."
The police phone operator told Cohen to get off of the road because "it's dangerous" according to Cohen, who said "I just prayed to see something Jewish; the officer who took the call told us to drive through the wadi (valley), and there after a few minutes we saw Border Patrol officers."
"It truly ended in a miracle, the car was completely smashed up and that's okay as long as we are safe. My daughter is suffering awful trauma. My husband is a little wounded in the face but it will pass in a day or two. I look at the kids and say 'thank you' that they are here with me," said Cohen, who warned drivers not to rely on their GPS systems.
The attack comes the same Thursday that MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) visited eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount with members of the Internal Affairs Committee.
There, Feiglin warned that the loss of control over the Temple Mount and the indecisive ending of Operation Protective Edge will lead to an intifada in Jerusalem.
Reports on Monday revealed that in the past few months terror attacks in Jerusalem have been growing exponentially, with 152 terror attacks and incidents in July and August, a stark rise from previous months.
That violence has included an attempt by Arab rioters on Sunday to blow up a gas station in the French Hill neighborhood, located not far from Wadi Joz where the family was ambushed on Thursday.