Afula Man Indicted for Trying to Kill Black Baby

Attacker, who admits racist motive, was hospitalized in psychiatric institutions in past; Eritrean toddler in critical condition.

Efrat Neuman
Efrat Neuman
Efrat Neuman
Efrat Neuman

Israeli prosecutors filed an indictment Thursday morning with the Tel Aviv District Court for attempted murder and asked to extend until the conclusion of proceedings the remand of Mordechai Michael Zaretzky, 58, of Afula, who allegedly stabbed an 18-month-old Eritrean baby in the head.

According to the indictment, filed by attorney Sagiv Ozeri of the Tel Aviv District Prosecutors’ Office, Zaretzky intended to murder a black baby, from racist motives. For that purpose, on the evening of January 3 he went to the area of Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station armed with scissors. When he saw the baby’s mother carrying her in her arms he walked behind them, and without the mother and the relatives accompanying them noticing, stabbed the scissors forcefully into the baby’s head with the intention of killing her, removed the scissors from her head, returned them to his coat and tried to flee the site. The wounded baby was evacuated to the hospital in serious condition, where she has been anesthetized and is receiving artificial respiration, and her life is still in danger.

Zaretzky has been in detention since the stabbing incident. According to the remand extension request, the suspect admitted his actions and even explained the stabbing to the policemen who arrested him: “There have often been complaints to the police against Ethiopians ... I spoke to a policewoman ... and I said that there’s no choice, because there’s no police intervention.”

The prosecutor also noted that when the suspect was questioned by the police he added: “I attacked black terrorists, there was a black baby, they said that a black baby, blacks in general, are terrorists. Black terror, white race.”

And when asked what he hoped to achieve by stabbing the baby he was said to have replied: “To kill her. I didn’t try, I’m sure I killed her ... The bitch died? The baby died? I’m sure she’ll die, that the blow ... She’ll die.”

According to the detention request, the accused has undergone three previous criminal proceedings for arson, violence and crimes against property. The proceedings were halted due to mental illness, which rendered him unfit to stand trial. He was hospitalized in the past in psychiatric institutions, but after his release once again committed crimes, the most serious of which is the one now attributed to him.

An asylum seeker and her children in Israel.Credit: Ofer Waknin
African refugees and labor migrants in a park near the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv.Credit: Daniel Tchetchik

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