Two Israelis Arrested for Alleged Knife Attacks Against Eritreans

Mohammed and Zakaria Elabeid reportedly targeted dark-skinned people in revenge after a club brawl.

Moti Milrod

Two young men were indicted Thursday for attacks in Tel Aviv in which they allegedly targeted every dark-skinned person they encountered one night.

Attacks two weeks ago by Mohammed Elabeid, 26, and Zakaria Elabeid, 21, are thought to be revenge after a club brawl against Eritreans living in Israel, prosecutors say. The two men are from Ramle and Lod.

At the Tel Aviv District Court, the two were charged with aggravated battery, robbery, assault and conspiracy to commit a crime. Zakaria Elabeid was also charged with obstruction of justice.

The two were allegedly involved in the brawl at the Kit-Kat Club on Galil Street in south Tel Aviv. Afterwards, Mohammed Elabeid called a taxi driver he knew and asked him to take him to Lod, prosecutors say.

They say the two had the driver drive around, and when a dark-skinned person passed by, the Elabeids asked the driver to stop. The two then attacked the passerby with knives and screwdrivers, returned to the cab and continued on. This happened four different times, the indictment says.

Mohammed Elabeid has previous convictions for importing and selling drugs, and served a 10-month prison sentence. Zakaria Elabeid has no criminal record.

The first attack was against a person in a store at the corner of Tel Aviv’s Solomon and Yedu Hama’alah streets. Zakaria Elabeid allegedly grabbed the victim by the neck, kicked him in the groin and dragged him out of the store.

The Elabeids then attacked him with screwdrivers and knives, and drove off, the prosecutors say. The victim was taken to the hospital with multiple stab wounds all over his body.

The second victim was attacked on Tel Aviv’s Menachem Begin Street and the third on Harakevet Street; the Elabeid’s also allegedly stole his bag. After the fourth attack they returned to Lod, where they were arrested, the prosecutors say.

The two have chosen to remain silent during the police investigation.

The prosecution said the two were dangerous and asked that they be detained throughout the legal proceedings. According to a prosecutor, their actions “speak for themselves and reflect their inherent danger to the public and its security.”