Two Indicted for Assaulting Arab Teen Who Had Befriended Jewish Girl

A right-wing group calls the incident an example of the police 'automatically accusing the Jewish side.’

AP

Two Jewish youths have been indicted on charges of assaulting an Arab teenager who had befriended a Jewish girl in the northern town of Safed.

The defendants, from Jerusalem and the settlement of Betar Ilit, are accused of assaulting the 17-year-old Safed resident August 3 after seeing him in the company of a Jewish girl around his age.

According to the indictment, the defendants saw the boy and girl sitting together at about 1 A.M. and called the girl a traitor and an enemy of the Jewish people.

The defendants reeked of alcohol, the police said, adding that one of them punched the Arab youth in the head and back and threatened to hit him with a wine bottle.

The defendants said the Arab teen was also violent. A lawyer for one of the them, Ran Shacham from the organization Honenu, said the Arab youth called the defendants names.

Honenu provides legal aid to “soldiers and civilians who find themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, or due to their love for Israel,” the group says on its website. Shacham said a fight broke out and two people came to the aid of the defendants, while two friends came to the aid of the Arab teen.

All parties were detained for questioning, but only the two defendants remain in custody.

Honenu called the case another example of the police “automatically accusing the Jewish side” when an Arab boy and Jewish girl are involved. “We are astounded that the Arabs involved have been released without an indictment against them,” the group added.

The police said indictments are filed based on the evidence “and other professional considerations,” not the identity of the parties involved.