19 far-right Jerusalem soccer fans charged with attempted murder
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19 far-right Jerusalem soccer fans charged with attempted murder

Members of Beitar Jerusalem's La Familia group also indicted for sabotage, racism, illegal possession of weapons

Beitar Jerusalem fans at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem in 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Beitar Jerusalem fans at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem in 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Nineteen members of La Familia, a group of far-right football fans of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team, were charged Sunday with attempted murder, the police said.

The supporters, who were arrested last month, face charges including attempted murder, aggravated sabotage, racist offenses and illegal possession of weapons.

They were charged over violence that included attacks on the supporters of rival football teams, according to police. The prosecutor asked for them to remain in custody until the end of the case against them.

Nine of them were also charged with drug trafficking.

The ultra-nationalist Jewish members of La Familia, believed to number several hundred, are known for their racist, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments.

The Jerusalem stadium where their club plays is dubbed “Hell” over its climate of hostility towards visiting teams and their supporters. Police regularly have to deploy reinforcements during matches to prevent violence.

On August 18, French club Saint-Etienne will visit the stadium to play Beitar in the qualifying round of the 2016 Europa League.

In 2013, some Beitar supporters were angered by the signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya, forcing the team to hire bodyguards to protect them. Club offices were later hit by an arson attack that destroyed all the trophies won by the team.

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