Arab Acre Resident Charged With Attempted Murder of Jewish Man During Gaza Conflict

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Rioting in Acre in May.
Rioting in Acre in May.Credit: Rami Shllush

An Arab resident of the northern town of Acre was charged on Monday with the attempted murder of a Jewish man last month in the riots that erupted in the town in course of the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Habib Abu Habib, 41, is accused of throwing a rock at Mordechai Katz and, along with other rioters, of kicking and hitting him with rocks and sticks, after he fell to the ground.

Abu Habib is charged with terrorist acts of attempted murder, aggravated battery and rioting.

On May 12, according to the indictment, he joined a group of young masked men who were throwing rocks at Jews on Herzl Street in Acre, a city with a mixed Jewish-Arab population in the north. At one point, he allegedly noticed a man whom he identified as Jewish based on his dress leaving a nearby march. Abu Habib ran toward him and threw a rock at him from close range while someone else also threw a rock at him, according to the charges.

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One of the rocks hit Katz in the head and he fell to the ground, the indictment states. While Katz was lying on the ground, a group of rioters – including Abu Habib – allegedly began beating Katz all over his body and only stopped when a police officer arrived and fired his gun in the air.

Video footage of the attack on Mordechai Katz on May 12.

In connection with a separate incident, Southern District prosecutors filed an indictment Monday against five Bedouin men for throwing rocks at police officers at the entrance to Segev Shalom southeast of Be’er Sheva. The five, who are in their 20s, are charged with throwing rocks at vehicles, attempted aggravated assault against a police officer as well as rioting.

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