One of the suspects in the Friday night murder of Aryeh Karp on a Tel Aviv beach reenacted Monday the assault that culminated in Karp's death, a development that police said significantly advanced their investigation.
Earlier Monday, police staged a series of confrontations between a female soldier - one of two Jewish women who is suspected of watching the assault but failing to intervene - and several of the other suspects, all of whom are Arab men from Jaljulya. Police said these confrontations also supplied many new details about what happened that night.
During one confrontation, the soldier lashed out at one of the main suspects.
"I saw you hitting the elderly man," she charged. "We two [girls] stood there crying; we didn't understand why you had to beat a man who could have been my grandfather. It's shocking ... I saw you kick him when he was down on the ground."
The other suspect told the police she was lying. "You're slandering me for the heck of it," he charged. "I'm a father with children; think about what you're saying."
The soldier also said that shortly before leaving the Tel Baruch beach, she ran into Karp's daughter, who asked if she had seen her father.
"I told her I had seen someone running southward. After that I got into the car that belonged to the group I was with [some of the other suspects] and we left."
At that point, she said, Karp was still alive. "If I'd known the man was dead, I wouldn't have gotten in the car with you," she told the other suspect.
"I didn't know how to react; I was confused," she added. "Perhaps I made a mistake by not staying there, by leaving with everyone. I've been torturing myself over this."
"I'm not a violent person. I'm opposed to violence," she continued. "I just wanted to go out and have a good time ... I don't know them [the other suspects] as violent people. It was all one big mistake."
During the reenactment, which took place at Tel Baruch, the suspect reprised the attack on Karp and his wife and daughter.
At one point, he told police that he and the other suspects had continued kicking Karp in the head, as well as other parts of his body, even after he collapsed and fell to the ground, until he eventually lost consciousness. One of the policemen then lay on the ground so that the suspect could reenact that part of the assault as well.
The suspect then led investigators to the parking lot and pointed out the route the suspects had taken to leave the site. They left in two cars.
Several of the suspects' attorneys claimed Monday that while their clients admitted to participating in the assault, they left while Karp was still standing, and knew nothing about his death.
"It will be very hard for the police to prove that there was a murder here," said one. "It's not clear exactly who beat the victim, and there is certainly not a shred of testimony that anyone threw Karp into the sea," where his body was ultimately found.
The two Jewish girls who were arrested also claim to have left while Karp was still alive. Though their testimony won't help directly bring a murder charge, police consider it very important to establishing what happened during the earlier parts of the incident.
The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court remanded two additional suspects for five days Monday, on suspicion of helping the assailants flee the site and obstructing the police investigation. Tuesday, the soldier will be brought for another remand hearing, and police said they may agree to release her to house arrest.
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