Suspect in attack on Arabs in Jerusalem - Olivier Fitoussi
The 19-year-old suspect at an extension of his remand in Jerusalem, August 20, 2012. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
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One of the Jewish teens involved in an attack on three Arabs in Jerusalem on Friday admitted to beating 17-year-old Jamal Julani in the chest, saying, "He could die for all I care, he's an Arab."

Three minors, who were arrested Sunday on suspicion they had been involved in the lynching were brought before a judge Monday for a hearing on the extension of their remand.

The main suspect, 15, is suspected of kicking Jamal Julani in the chest, causing his collapse. Julani was hospitalized in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.

Upon his arrival in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the suspect admitted to beating Julani.

“For all I care, let him die. He’s an Arab,” the suspect said. “He cursed my mother. He can die.”

“A Jew can’t go through Damascus Gate without getting stabbed," he continued. "Everyone hit him, there were some 40 people there and all of them hit him.”

Also remanded were two girls, aged 15 and 17, who are also suspected of involvement in the attack. A 13-year-old boy, who was arrested Sunday, was also expected to be brought for a remand hearing. Two more suspects were arrested Monday morning. A seventh suspect, who is 19, had his remand extended by the court on Sunday.

According to the police, more than 20 young people were involved in the attack.

Maj. Gen. Ronen Avnieli, commander of the Lev Habira police station, which is responsible for the special investigation squad set up following the incident, described the chain of events last Thursday night: Close to midnight, a group of Jewish teens were congregating at Kikar Hahatulot on Hillel Street when one of the girls said she had been raped by an Arab several weeks previously. The boys in the group decided they were going to avenge her, and started to look for Arabs to beat up.

At that moment, three young Palestinians, Julani and his cousins, passed through the area. The Jewish youths surrounded them and the melee started. The Arab teens fled, with dozens of Jews in pursuit, until Zion Square, where they were caught by the Jewish gang and beaten. During the beatings, one of the teens kicked Julani in the chest when he was on the ground, and he lost consciousness.

Attorney David Halevy, who is representing the girl who told her friends she’d been raped, said, “No one denies that she did not take part in any of the actual violence.” The girl denies stirring up her friends to attack Arabs and claims there is no connection between what she told them and the beating of the three Palestinians.

During Sunday’s hearing the police representative described the incident as a “lynch,” even though the police had been referring to it as a brawl since Friday.

Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Shmuel Shinhav said, “It was simply a lynch. [Julani] was beaten and lost consciousness; he was thought to be dead until Magen David Adom [emergency paramedics] came and resuscitated him. For several days he was anesthetized and was on a respirator. This is a very serious crime that by some miracle didn’t end in death.”

He added that there were a lot of suspects in and witnesses to the incident, and that dozens of eyewitnesses watched what was happening and didn’t do anything to stop it.

On Saturday, M., one of the two cousins who were with Julani during the attack, said, “We were walking and suddenly we were approached by maybe 50 Jews screaming, ‘Arabs, Arabs.’ They weren’t calling to us [just] yelling in general.”

Eyewitnesses said the Jewish teens were conducting a type of parade to find Arab victims, all the while calling out racist remarks.