The national-religious community in the religious town of Elad is up in arms after two ultra-Orthodox children allegedly attacked a 10-year-old girl with extreme violence because she was holding a “not-kosher” cell phone (a smart phone open to text messages and the internet).
The incident occurred on Sunday, around 7pm, when Shira Gabbay was making her way home with several of her friends from a youth movement activity.
According to her mother, the girls arrived at a bus station, where the two ultra-Orthodox children were waiting.
“As soon as the two got up from their seats, Shira sat down—and that’s when they noticed the cell phone in her hand,” Shoshi Gabbay told.
In a pain-filled post on social media, Ricky Peretz, the girl’s cousin, said that “they told the sweet little girl to give them her phone so they could smash it, since it is ‘not kosher.’
The innocent child refused, and they simply ripped into her.
A 10-year-old girl!! For God’s sake!!! What has the world come to?”
The girl’s mother added that the children “hit her, kicked her, and pulled her hair. My little girl burst into tears, and so did her friends.”
According to Gabbay, when the bus arrived, the abusive children boarded it—and so did the crying girls.
“Even though the driver noticed their tears, he did not call the police—and the young attackers got off two stops later. The passengers did nothing to help the crying girls either,” the mother continued.
The parents filed a complaint at the Rosh HaAyin police station—where the girl gave her testimony.
The Elad municipality said they would assist the family as well, and the school’s counselor had spoken with the girl—”But the child is in shock. She is suffering.”
Shai Gabbay, Shira’s father, said that “we expected the police to act and try to track those kids down.
They probably go to school in the vicinity of that bus station or live in the area. I assume there’s a security camera on the bus, and with a few well phrased questions, the children could be found.”
“My daughter cried all night,” said Shoshi Gabbay.
“I spoke with the other mothers, and their daughters had been crying too; they were all rattled,” she added.
The bus company claimed that “there was no report of such a case.”
On Tuesday morning, the mother expressed anger at the bus company and over the police’s conduct that, according to her, has yet to exhaust all options to find and capture the delinquents.
“The police sent a cruiser with two police officers to meet us at the bus station.
They asked the bus company for the driver’s details, so I don’t know how the bus company could possibly say they had no record of this case,” said the baffled mother.
Gabbay along with other parents intend to meet on Wednesday with Elad Mayor Yisrael Porush.
“We are afraid to let our children ride the bus,” said one of the mothers.
“We can’t let our children live in fear of being hit and abused over a cell phone,” she continued.
The police stated that a complaint was filed and an investigation has commenced.
In the last few years, the Ultra-Orthodox community had declared an all-out war against smart phones, including smashing ceremonies of smart phones, putting up posters, and hurling offensive comments at observant or Orthodox Jews in possession of such devices in ultra-Orthodox areas.