The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday extended by a day the remand of an Israeli man suspected of beating a terrorist who had stabbed and seriously wounded a 70-year-old man in Netanya.
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There is a gag order on the identity of the man.
Police representatives said in court that after the terrorist, a 22-year-old Palestinian from Bala’a near Tul Karm, was disarmed by police, a mob of Israelis sought to attack him. While police blocked the suspected terrorist with their bodies, the suspect allegedly went wild and tried to beat him with a plank. The suspect also allegedly attacked police officers and injured one in the face. He was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace in a public area, attacking a police officer in the line of duty, battery and aggravated assault of an officer.
The police explained that the suspect is the only one arrested among the civilians who sought to lynch the terror suspect because he is the only one who held a plank and genuinely tried to injure him as well as strike an officer with it. The suspect has a previous record for similar offenses.
The suspect’s attorney, Jacky-Henri Sagroun, complained of substandard behavior and an arrest made just for show. “If it weren’t for the media noise he would not have been arrested,” Sagroun said. “Let’s say a policeman was hurt. There was no intent to hurt a policeman. It’s not the issue here. Let’s say he ran to beat the terrorist. The situation is a man running with a knife and stabbing people. The police commissioner recommends taking a gun from home.
“Perhaps he acted criminally, but the danger is acute. He is not a criminal. His danger is only if there is a terrorist in the area.”
Judge Erez Nurieli extended the man’s remand until Wednesday, ruling that there is reason to connect him to the crime. He also agreed to maintain the gag order on any personal details about the suspect at least until the next hearing.
District Police Commander Motti Cohen told Army Radio on Tuesday that the mobs make it harder to guard a terrorist.
“Dozens of people tried take the law into their own hands and hurt the attacker,” said Cohen. “The police handled it and distanced the civilians. Taking action in this case was no less hard, even more complicated than the original incident.”
A security services official who was at the scene of the attack told Haaretz Monday that after the attacker was shot and disarmed by police, a large gathering of people around him began, and then one of them attacked him.
“When the police tried to move away the civilian who attacked the terrorist, the mob began to attack him, too,” he said. “It was theater of the absurd, which has turned into reality.”