Three Israelis Arrested for Attacking Arabs Socializing With Jewish Women

Two Arab men were sitting with two Jewish women in a Bat Yam park when the four were attacked using improvised weapons, Israel Police says

Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni
A pollice van is seen in front oa police building.
Credit: Moti Milrod
Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni

Three young Israeli Jewish men were arrested recently on suspicion of racially-motivated, attempted murder of two Arabs in addition to other offenses, the police said Thursday. The three are suspected of attacking and injuring two Arab men and two Jewish women in November after spotting them sitting together in a park in the city of Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.

Police suspect that the assailants used an improvised weapon fashioned from a staple gun. When they were arrested, the suspects also had a Carlo submachine gun in their possession.

The assailants attacked the group with a staple gun.Credit: Israel Police

In the course of their investigation alongside the Shin Bet, police also arrested a woman on suspicion of assisting the assailants, though she was reportedly not present during the attack itself.

According to a police statement, the three assailants and the female suspect passed the Bat Yam park on November 14 at night when they spotted two Arab men, one of whom was 24 and the other 27, sitting and talking to two young Jewish women, one of whom was 20 and the other 19. The attackers approached the group and asked if everything was all right. When they were told that it was, they left the scene, police said.

The male suspects returned to the scene minutes later clad in masks and hoods to attack the group with ad hoc weapons including improvised firearms.

“They checked to see if we were Arab, and apparently it bothered them that we were with Jewish women,” one of the victims recalled. The assailants appeared to be aiming at him but hit one of the women, he said.

“Instead, I got two kicks in the chest,” he said, adding that while the others who were with him are still dealing with their physical injuries, “my difficulty at the moment is mainly emotional.”

When police began to suspect the attack was racially-motivated, a joint police-Shin Bet investigative team was convened to pursue the case. In early January, the female suspect and two of the male suspects were arrested. The third male suspect was arrested last week.

A draft indictment was filed against the three attackers on Tuesday, who are expected to be charged with attempted murder in addition to weapons-related charges. The female suspect is expected to face a pre-indictment hearing prior to the filing of any charges against her.

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