Three New Suspects Arrested in May Assault of Arab Man in Tel Aviv Suburb

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Arab driver Said Moussa moments after he was attacked in Bat Yam, earlier this month
Arab driver Said Moussa moments after he was attacked in Bat Yam, earlier this month Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Three men were arrested Sunday in connection to a vicious assault on an Arab man in a Tel Aviv suburb in May.

On Monday the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ordered the men to remain in custody until next Sunday.

Tamir Srur, 22 and Yitzhak Saban, 27, are suspected of attempted murder. Itzik Guetta, 20, is suspected of incitement to violence. All three men live in Bat Yam, where the beating took place.

Their arrests brought the total number of people who were arrested in the attack on Said Moussa, 33, up to 13. The other 10 have been charged with offenses ranging from incitement to attempted murder – the latter in the case of Netanel Binyamin, 25.

A video showing the Bat Yam attack in May.

According to an analysis by Haaretz of video from the incident, the faces of 20 people involved could be identified.

Police say Saban hit Moussa in the head and abdomen with a baton five or six times, while Moussa lay on the ground and appeared to be unconscious. Police say they have documentary evidence of the actions of Saban, who identified himself in an image from the scene.

Saban’s lawyers, Moshe Suhami and Tal Litan, said that apart from their client’s presence at the scene, “He was not involved in any criminal event – not assault, and certainly not attempted murder. We believe that as the investigation continues the picture will become clearer and he’ll be released.”

Srur is suspected of hitting Moussa as he lay on the ground. Police say that they have documentation in which he is unequivocally identified. He is also suspected of damaging Moussa’s car.

Guetta is suspected of incitement, but at the detention hearing police claimed that he also kicked Moussa as he lay on the road. Guetta allegedly whipped up the crowd, encouraged people to come to the site and later inflamed them by cursing and singing songs disparaging Arabs. According to police, Guetta identified himself in one of the videos of the attack.

Guetta’s lawyers, Tom Halperin and Ness Ben-Nathan, said, “This is a man who participated in a legitimate demonstration. He ran with a crowd to the place after he heard calls of ‘terrorist’ and later understood that this was a different incident that was not to his liking, so he left the area.”

During Sunday’s detention hearing, Halperin argued that in the videos of the incident Guetta can be seen “running toward the incident, making a U-turn and going away.”

Photos by Haaretz photographer Tomer Appelbaum and footage of the incident taken by the Kan 11 public broadcaster were made available to police and Shin Bet security service investigators.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, more than 70 people gave statements to the police.

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