In addition to the arrest of a 19-year-old Jewish male in Yerushalayim, three additional arrests were made on Sunday, 2 Rosh Chodesh Elul 5772 in connection with an assault against an Arab male at Kikar Tzion in the downtown area. The three, all minors ages 13-15, were brought before a remand hearing on Monday, 2 Elul 5772 at which time police requested that they remain behind bars pending the outcome of the investigation against them.
One of the defendants told the court that one of the victims cursed his mother and as far as he is concerned, the victim “can die”. He added that dozens of people were beating on the victim, 40-50. The defendant admitted taking part in the assault, being labeled a “lynch” by police. the 15-year-old added “I would do it again”.
Police are treating the case as a hate crime, adding hundreds of pedestrians looked on and no one tried to assist the victims.
One of the victims, a resident of the Maale Zeitim (Ras el-Amud) area of the eastern capital was in serious condition with head injuries. Others were injured lightly, police reported. The victim, who was on a respirator, remains in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
Defense attorney Ariel Atari, representing the 19-year-old, explained his client was not in that area when this assault took place, telling police they can simply track the location of his mobile phone when the attack occurred and the information will confirm his statement. He acknowledges that his client was in the area earlier in the night and he was ‘involved’ in another altercation, explaining his client tried to break that fight up.
UPDATE: Police on Monday (2 Elul) afternoon reported additional arrests bringing the total number of suspects in custody to seven. Additional arrests are expected.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)