Palestinian Beaten in Central Jerusalem After Speaking Arabic With a Friend

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Bashar Masalha after the attack, on Tuesday.
Bashar Masalha after the attack, on Tuesday.

An 18-year-old Palestinian was beaten by five young men in Jerusalem on Tuesday night after they heard him speaking Arabic with his friend.

Bashar Masalha was taken to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, where medical staff found that he suffered a number of fractures. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday morning, and has filed a police report.

The attack occurred while Masalha and his friend, Nathan Sara, were on their way home from Hadassah College in Jerusalem. According to Sara, when the two were in the Independence Park area, five young Jewish men heard them speaking Arabic and began to curse at them. "We didn't even manage to turn around and see who was cursing, all of a sudden one of them punched Bashar in the face with brass knuckles," he recounted.

Sara said that Masalha then lost consciousness, and that his face was full of blood. "I stood on top of him, I shouted and I tried to get them away, they didn't know what to do – maybe they thought I would run away," he said. "They cursed me and said 'Arab son of a bitch' and then just ran off. We were left alone, I put him on a bench and called the police."

Jerusalem has seen a number of violent incidents in the past few days. On Monday, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Ma'ale HaZeitim settlement in East Jerusalem. On Sunday, one man was killed and another four injured after a Palestinian gunman opened fire by the Western Wall.

Last week, cars belonging to Jewish residents were torched in Sheikh Jarrah, and the following day, the tires of 13 cars belonging to Palestinian residents were slashed in the East Jerusalem neighborhood.        

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