Jewish Man Succumbs to His Wounds After Being Attacked by Arabs in Central Israel

Yigal Yehoshua, a 56-year-old father of two, dies after his car was attacked by stone throwers in what Arab youth call 'blood revenge' for shooting of Arab man in the city during riots

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Yigal Yehoshua, a Lod resident attacked by Arab stone throwers during riots in the city.
Yigal Yehoshua, a Lod resident attacked by Arab stone throwers during riots in the city.

Yigal Yehoshua, a 56-year-old resident of Lod who was hit by stones thrown by Arab rioters in the city, died of his wounds on Monday in Shamir Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Yehoshua's car was pelted by stones during riots that broke out after the death of Moussa Hassouna, a Lod resident who was shot during clashes between Arabs and Jews on Monday night. He was brought to the hospital in serious condition, and on Monday was declared dead after being declared brain dead.  

After Yehoshua was attacked, young Arabs in Lod told Haaretz that "This is the blood vengeance they were looking for in exchange for the death of Hassouna."

Yehoshua leaves behind a wife, Irena, and two children. His family has agreed to donate his organs.

The day after the night of riots in which Hassouna was killed, Hamid, a 20-year-old Lod resident, said: "This will only end with blood in exchange for blood, everyone's riled up because of the death of the young man, so how do you want this to end?" He added, "One in exchange for another, blood in exchange for blood. One of yours died yesterday, no?"

Hassouna was shot overnight Monday against the backdrop of violent clashes between Jews and Arabs that had spread in mixed cities across the country. Police suspect that Hassouna, 32, was hit by one bullet shot by a Jewish resident from dozens of meters away and two others were injured as masked Arab protesters hurled stones and firebombs and vandalized property in Lod.  

Moussa HassounaCredit: Bar Peleg

Four Lod residents were arrested on suspicion of causing Hassouna's death, but all were released on Thursday. The suspicion against them has been lowered from murder to reckless manslaughter, and they have a restraining order from the city for seven days. The Lod Magistrate's Court rejected a request by the police to keep them under house arrest.

The four claimed during questioning that they were acting in self-defense after a few young men approached them and tried to harm them. All four have gun licenses. Police suspect that at least one of them aimed his weapon at the group of Arabs rather than in the air, as they claim.  

Yigal Yehoshua's widow, Irena, said that she spoke to him half an hour prior to the attack. "He was at the synagogue and said he was waiting for the rabbi’s blessing and would then come home. I wasn’t worried because it was nearby."

Following her husband's attack, Irena said that the neighbors called an ambulance for him but the injury was too severe. By the time she reached him he was already unconscious.

Irena said that her husband “was not afraid of anything. If there is a symbol of coexistence it is Yigal. He worked with everyone - Jews and Arabs.” An electrician who took care of the homes in the area, Irena said that she and Yigal “didn’t believe that the violence would reach them.”

She added that “these events are terrible, they hurt everyone. Both Arabs and Jews are sorry for them. It is not good for anyone.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he shares in the grief of the family of Yehoshua "who was murdered in a lynching by Arab rioters." He vowed that all who participated in the murder would be brought to justice, and that "nobody will escape punishment.”

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