Palestinian Teen Attacked in East Jerusalem by Jewish Teens Yelling 'Death to Arabs'

Ibrahim Sawilam, 16, says he was attacked by group of religious Jewish teens who shouted 'death to Arabs.' Family says that though they filed a complaint, police have yet to investigate

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Ibrahim Sawilam in the hospital
Ibrahim Sawilam in the hospitalCredit:
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

A Palestinian teen from East Jerusalem was hospitalized after being attacked by a group of Jewish teens shouting “Death to Arabs,” but police haven’t bothered to investigate, his family says.

Ibrahim Sawilam, 16, left his home in the Shoafat neighborhood Wednesday afternoon and headed for the Old City with some of his friends. On Bar-Lev Street, not far from national police headquarters, they ran into a group of five or six religious Jews.

“They began shouting ‘death to Arabs’ and cursed them,” said Hassan Sawilam, Ibrahim’s father. “They began to run, but his glasses fell off. When he went to get them, they caught him and began hitting him.”

At this point, additional assailants piled on, he said. They hit Ibrahim in the head until he passed out. Ibrahim was taken to Hadassah Hospital at Mount Scopus.

That same night, his father went to the Neveh Yaakov police station to file a complaint. He said he had to wait at the entrance for 40 minutes before he was allowed in.

An investigator later took down his compliant, but told him the investigation would be handled by the Russian Compound station, and that the police there would contact him.

No one has contacted Sawilam since. Ibrahim was released from the hospital, but hasn’t been questioned, and neither have any of the friends who were with him.

Police said that an investigation was opened as soon as the complaint was filed and is still ongoing. “Naturally, we can’t elaborate on it at this stage,” a police spokesperson added. “The police will continue investigating the complaint thoroughly and professionally to uncover the truth and bring the people involved to justice.”

Sawilam’s mother is a relative of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, an East Jerusalem teen who was murdered by Jews in July 2014.

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