The disclosure Sunday that the arrest of a Hamas cell which was plotting to bomb Yerushalayim’s Mamilla Mall during the Chagim included two men who worked there has shocked local merchants and residents, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“I’ve lived and worked in Yerushalayim all my life, so I grew up in this reality,” said Asaf Shevach, owner of Shevach Judaica Art Silversmiths. “But this is the first time in Mamilla that something like this happened, and to hear it was planned by Arabs who worked here was very upsetting, because they are getting a salary and are citizens of Yerushalayim.”
Nevertheless, Shevach said he still felt safe due to the strong security presence in the mall throughout Sunday. Teams of heavily armed soldiers were patrolling the normally quiet enclave of high-end retail shops.
Chaya Soussan, an employee at a Rolex shop, said: “I was shocked when I saw the extra security at the entrance this morning and they told me two Arabs planned to blow up the mall for the holiday,” she said. “More than half of the workers in the mall are Arabs.”
The Mamilla Mall has been touted as a model of peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews. But Soussan doesn’t believe it anymore.
“You can’t trust Arabs, and Israelis forget that very fast,” she said. “They could work for you for 10 years or 100 years and the day they can, they will stab you in the back.”
Tal Amit, a saleswoman at Brands, also was not hopeful about working together with Arabs. “We all want Arabs and Jews to be able to work together, but it’s not going to happen; because the Arabs may want to be here, but they don’t feel like they can be together with us — even in Mamilla.”