Israel Police: Hundreds watched attempt to lynch Palestinians in Jerusalem, did not interfere
Four minors, including one girl, arrested in connection with attack at Zion Square in which one victim was seriously injured and three others were slightly hurt.
After initially treating the event as a brawl, police on Sunday for the first time referred to the attack on Palestinian youths by dozens of Jewish teens in Jerusalem early last Friday as a "lynching."
A police representative told the Magistrate's Court that hundreds of people watched the event without helping the victims.
Witnesses say the attack lasted a short while before police arrived and the attackers fled.
Four minors between the ages of 13-15, including one girl, were arrested on Sunday in connection with the attack at Zion Square, in which one victim was seriously injured and three others were slightly hurt.
Earlier, the court extended by four days the detention of the 19-year-old man arrested Friday. Police believe there will be further arrests.
Sergeant First Class Shmuel Shenhav defined the attack as a lynch, and said: "The victim lost his consciousness and was thought to be dead until a Magen David Adom [emergency paramedic] crew arrived and resuscitated him. He was anesthetized and on a respirator in the hospital for days. This was an extremely severe crime. Only a miracle saved him from death."
A 13-year-old suspect brought into court yesterday did not deny he was present at the scene, but said he wasn't involved in the beating. His mother, L., told Haaretz: "They came at noon while he was sleeping. The investigators woke him up and took him to the police car. How can they do such a thing to a young kid?"
The suspect's brother, who was also present at the scene, said outside the court that it was the four Arab youths who had provoked passersby and "made passes at Jewish girls." He added: "Why should an Arab make passes at my sister? They shouldn't be here, it's our area. For what other reason would they come here if not to make passes at Jewish girls?"
The 19-year-old suspect's attorney, Ariel Attari, said that his client wasn't present at the scene and said he had an alibi for the entire time.
Meanwhile, victim Jamal Julani remains in serious condition, according to the authorities. Julani, 17, from Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud neighborhood, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem in critical condition. His mother told Haaretz that he had regained consciousness but is very confused, did not remember the assault and did not understand why he was in the hospital.
"There were four of us," one of the victim's cousins, Mohammed Mujahad, said Saturday, recalling what happened when he and his three cousins reached Zion Square after midnight Thursday. "Suddenly maybe 50 Jews came toward us shouting, 'Arabs Arabs.' I don't understand what they said. They weren't calling us. They were just generally shouting."
According to an eyewitness, the group of teenagers appeared to be hunting for Arab victims, calling out "Death to Arabs" and other anti-Arab slurs.
"We walked slowly, so there wouldn't be trouble," related Nuaman Julani, another of Jamal's cousins. "Suddenly one said to Jamal, 'What are you doing, you son of a bitch?' Jamal tried to flee, but [the attacker] whacked him in the chest and [Jamal] fell."
The incident was brief, according to Mujahad and Nuaman Julani. One of the cousins says he saw a few attackers hitting and kicking Jamal as he lay on the ground. Both noted that police quickly arrived, after which all the perpetrators dispersed.
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