A five-year-old resident of the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of north-eastern Jerusalem was wounded Friday by gunshots fired from a neighboring Arab area. The gunshots were apparently strays fired during a wedding celebration in the Shuafat neighborhood.
Two constant features of Arab weddings in Judea and Samaria and the eastern reaches of Jerusalem are fireworks and live gunfire, with celebrants shooting rifles into the air in honor of the bride and groom.
The roots of the customs are not clear, but what is clear is the threat than many Jews living in towns adjacent to Arab villages or neighborhoods feel when “wedding season” comes around.
Speaking to reporters, Yafa, the mother of the injured child, said that she never thought twice about danger from the stray bullets during these celebrations.
“This is a very common occurrence around here,” she said, “but now we see how dangerous these customs can be.”
Police said that the five-year-old was not the only person wounded by the celebratory shooting Friday. An Arab teen from the Shuafat neighborhood was also hit by stray bullets.
Neighborhood officials in Shuafat say they are opposed to the shooting. Baha Navata, chairman of the Shuafat local council, said that the municipality was acting negligently.
“Do they want to ruin the calm here? We are becoming a very dangerous neighborhood. They must do something because we are on the verge of becoming a permanently hostile area.”