Jerusalem – What should have been a regular bus ride home from a Sunday youth program took a violent twist as a ten year old Israeli girl was attacked because she was holding a cell phone that lacked rabbinical certification. The unlikely attackers, according to the victim, were a pair of Chareidi girls.
Israeli news site Ynet reported that Shira Gabbay arrived at an Elad bus stop with several friends at approximately 7 PM Sunday night. When two Chareidi girls who were waiting for the bus got up from their seats, Shira sat down, and taking note of her phone, the pair allegedly demanded the device, announcing their intention to destroy it because it was not a kosher phone. When Shira refused to surrender her phone, the two girls reportedly took matters into their own hands, hitting and kicking Shira and pulling her hair.
“My little girl burst into tears and so did her friends,” said the girl’s mother, Shoshi Gabbay.
Shira, her friends and the two Chareidi girls all boarded the bus when it arrived. Mrs. Gabbay said that despite the fact that a visibly bruised Shira and her friends were crying, neither the driver nor any of the passengers made any attempt to find out what was wrong. The two Chareidi girls left the bus two stops later.
Mrs. Gabbay said that both her daughter and her friends came home traumatized and crying. Pictures show the brown eyed little girl with a swollen cheek.
The Gabbays filed a police report but said that, so far, little to find their daughter’s attackers.
“They probably go to school in the vicinity of that bus station or live in the area,” said Shira’s father, Shai Gabbay. “I assume there’s a security camera on the bus and with a few well phrased questions, the children could be found.”
While the Gabbays said they met with police at the bus station and that police asked the bus company for information about the driver, the bus company said that they had no report of the attack. The Rosh HaAyin police station confirmed that they are investigating the incident.
Shira’s friends’ parents also expressed concern over the incident and scheduled a meeting today with Elad’s mayor, Yisrael Porush.
“We are afraid to let our children ride the bus,” said one mother. “We can’t let our children live in fear of being hit and abused over a cell phone.”