The Jerusalem district attorney filed an indictment Monday against seven Israeli adults and three minors who are suspected of beating two Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.
The suspected attack took place on July 25 in Neve Ya’akov. The suspects allegedly yelled racial epithets at the two Palestinian men, Samer Mahfouz and Amir Shweiki, urging them to leave the neighborhood at once. The group then proceeded to attack the two with wooden planks, metal bars and pepper spray.
“Around 9:30 p.m. a tall man with long hair approached us and asked Amir in Hebrew if he had a lighter and a cigarette. Amir said he didn’t. The man left, and came back about 10 minutes later with eight or nine guys, Jews,” Mahfouz said.
“They didn’t speak to us at all, all we heard them say was ‘aravim, aravim‘ [Arabs, Arabs]. They didn’t even give us a chance to speak, they just started beating us all at once.”
“Amir fell down, and they continued hitting him while he was on the ground,” he continued. “I also fell, and they hit us for a long time. We couldn’t do anything. I think Amir must have imagined he is about to die, and so did I.”
Both Palestinians were severely injured and were subsequently hospitalized.
Palestinian residents of Jerusalem recently spoke to The Times of Israel of a heightened sense of hostility in the city. Arab cab drivers reported Jews stepping out of the vehicle when learning they were Arab, or encouraging others not to travel with them. Others told of right-wing activists singling out Arabs downtown and verbally harassing them.