Three gay men were assaulted at the Gay Pride Festival in Eilat over the weekend.

The assailants did not explicitly state that they were targeting the men because they were gay.

However, this is assumed to be the reason, since the attacks took place during the festival and near the Gay Pride village.

Eden, one of the victims, told Army Radio on Sunday that early Friday morning, he was walking toward his hotel when several youths accosted him, asking him for money or cigarettes. When he said he did not have any, they beat him up.

Another youth, Guy, said that early Saturday morning, he was also accosted by youths who wanted money or cigarettes.

When he had none to give them, they beat him up. He said that the next day, he went to the emergency room at Eilat's Yoseftal Medical Center, where he learned that he had a ruptured ear drum.

A third attack occurred on Saturday night. Shai, one of the victims, said he was walking with his partner when somebody came up from behind and punched his partner in the back.

"I wanted to ask what he had done to him, but then my boyfriend saw that six other people were coming, so we began to run," he said. "And then I fell.

"People around us saw everything and did nothing. One of the seven came up and kicked me in the nose and mouth. Another threw a large stone at me and the rest kicked me in the legs and the back. They did not say I was gay, they just kicked and swore at me."

Guy and Eden both said they filed complaints with the police yesterday. "After I saw that this was a serial crime, I decided to file a complaint," Eden said.