One of the youths arrested on suspicion of attacking a Palestinian man in Jerusalem.
One of the youths arrested on suspicion of attacking a Palestinian man in Jerusalem. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
Text size
Emil Salman
Ibrahim Abu-Ta'a, who was injured in the attack on Thursday. Photo by Emil Salman

Jerusalem Police arrested on Saturday five Jewish teenagers suspected of attacking Ibrahim Abu-Ta'a, a young Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem on Thursday morning, in the city's Katamon neighborhood.

Three of the suspects who were arrested earlier on Saturday admitted taking part in the attack, saying they did because they thought "the Arab was exploiting a Jewish girl." Currently, one of the two suspects is being taken to a remand hearing. The other two will be brought before a judge later on Saturday night or on Sunday. According to Jerusalem Police, more arrests are expected.

Abu-Ta'a, a 28-year-old resident of Wadi Joz, who has been working in Jerusalem's Mamilla Hotel for some years, was wounded in the attack, and his leg was broken. On Wednesday he went out with some colleagues to a club in Talpiot. At the end of the evening he accompanied one of the workers to her home along with another colleague, as, according to him, she was inebriated.

"She asked me for help, so we said we would help her," he said. Abu-Ta'a said that when they arrived at her home the woman was unable to stand, and they got out of the car to help her. On the other side of the road he said that there would three or four youths who looked between the ages of 18 and 22.

Abu-Ta'a said that after the girl stumbled, the alleged attackers approached them and asked, "What is going on here?" 

"We told them everything was ok, and then she said 'Ibrahim leave them.' That's it. As soon as they heard my name they started to hit. The dirver tried to separate (us), but he did not manage to," he added.

According to him, he fell to the ground, and at this point one of the attackers hit him in the leg with a steel rod. Abu Ta'a was later taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Police say that after that the attackers fled.

Three weeks ago dozens of youths attacked three Arab youths in Zion Square in Jerusalem, as they shouted racist slogans. One of the three was seriously injured. Indictments were served against 9 of those involved in the incident.