An Israeli taxi driver had what he fears was a close brush with death on Sunday evening when a young Arab man hijacked his cab and forced him to drive to an Arab village on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
The taxi driver said he suspected no treachery when the young passenger entered his vehicle near the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh and asked for a ride to downtown Jerusalem. But shortly after they started toward the capital, the youth pulled out a large knife and demanded that the taxi instead head to the village of Beit Hanina on Jerusalem's northern outskirts.
The driver told Ynet that once there, the young man told him to pull into an alley and leave his vehicle. When the driver refused, he was pulled from the car by three waiting men and beaten. Because of the commotion caused by the beating, several bystanders began to gather, prompting the three men and their young accomplice to end the assault and make off with the taxi.
The driver said that despite his desperate state, none of the locals who witnessed the beating tried to help him, either during or after the assault. After his attackers had left, the man made his way to a nearby main thoroughfare and flagged down an Israeli driver who took him to a police station.
The man said he will continue to drive a taxi, but that unfortunately he must now be very picky about taking Arab passengers.