Israel Court Orders Police to Release Arabs Suspected of Attacking Rabbi in Jaffa

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Protest in Jaffa on Monday following the arrest of two brothers who allegedly attacked a rabbi
Protest in Jaffa on Monday following the arrest of two brothers who allegedly attacked a rabbiCredit: Tomer Appelbaum

Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court ordered to release brothers Ahmed and Mohammed Garboua under limited conditions Tuesday. The brothers were suspected of attacking head of the Shirat Moshe Yeshiva, Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, in Jaffa Sunday. The police requested to delay their release by one more day to file an appeal to the magistrate's court, and the pair will remain in custody till tomorrow.

The police are treating the case as assault as well as racially motivated, but the court determined that the police did not provide enough evidence to support the claim it was racially motivated.  Another reason for the court's decision was because the only evidence that it was racially motivated was not immediately presented.

Judge Or Mammon said that the evidence demonstrating the attack was racially motivated did not convince him, saying "if anything it significantly weakened it."

The judge added that since the Garboua brothers said that Rabbi Mali is a 'settler' "isn't necessarily a racist remark."

The police representative at Monday's hearing said the suspects claimed Rabbi Mali had entered a fenced-off area owned by their neighbor before the incident.

Following the incident on Sunday, dozens of people gathered to protest the attack, with counter-protesters, mostly from the city's Arab community, chanting "settlers out." Clashes broke out between demonstrators and police.

Police said the attack was likely motivated by conflict over the yeshiva's use of a building in the neighborhood, with Jaffa residents saying that there was disagreement over a plan to sell the building to the yeshiva.

Jaffa residents have recently held weekly demonstrations against the sale of assets that the government seized decades ago from Arabs who left in 1948.

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