Footage from Malha Mall soccer riot shows Arab employees fighting back

Footage from Malha Mall soccer riot shows Arab employees fighting back

Security cameras catch chaos after Beitar fans stormed mall to celebrate win

Police released a video on Tuesday shedding light on a violent brawl between Jewish fans of the Beitar soccer team and Arab cleaning employees in late March.

Several arrests were made after Arab workers at the capital’s Malha Mall came forward saying they were beaten during the fans’ celebrations.

The new footage, from mall security cameras, shows three Arab workers wielding batons or broomsticks at the fans — who had stormed the mall after Beitar won a game at nearby Teddy Stadium.

During the incident, three Arab employees rushed toward the crowd and forced them to back away by waving what looked like batons, the footage shows.

Mall security guards then intervened and seized the workers.

The mob of hundreds of fans, many of them teenagers, chanted racist slogans such as “Death to Arabs” and “An Arab is an [expletive].” The fans also reportedly harassed three Arab women who were eating in the food hall. Sixteen Beitar fans were arrested after the incident.

The team’s management condemned the violence.

Officials and the media had criticized the police’s handling of the event. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch condemned the police response last week, saying they should have done more to prevent the assault on the Arab employees.

The police responded Tuesday, saying that that they arrived four minutes after mall security personnel called for help. The Beitar fans who started the attacks had already left by that point. The tapes did, however, help the police identify dozens of the perpetrators’ faces.

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