Two brothers from the Arab Israeli city of Tamra were charged Sunday with the attempted murder of their 16-year-old brother outside a gay youth hostel in Tel Aviv last month.
The suspects, aged 28 and 23, whose identities have not been cleared for publication, were also accused of aggravated assault on a relative, as well as threatening him in an earlier incident.
A third man, 24-year-old Jamal Kanani, a friend of the two brothers, was also accused of attempted murder.
According to the indictment, one of the brothers discovered in March that the teenager was in a relationship with a man. He threatened him with a knife, put it against his throat and said: “Just like I killed other people, I have no problem killing you. I will shoot you and nobody will know it was me.”
He then punched, kicked and slapped the teenager until he passed out in front of the other brother and their mother.
The family sent the victim to a psychologist in attempt to “convert” him to heterosexuality, according to the indictment. After he filed a police complaint, the family forced him into a car and prevented him from leaving the house. Nevertheless, he was able to escape and go to Beit Dror.
On the day of the attack, the charge sheet said, the teenager recognized Kanani while he was exiting the hostel and tried to escape back inside. One of the brothers then hit him with their car, after which the victim got up and knocked on the hostel’s door.
His brother then exited the vehicle and stabbed him many times with the intention of killing him, according to the indictment. The teenager shouted for help and asked him to stop until he collapsed. The three attackers then fled the scene as onlookers gathered.
The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition with three life-threatening wounds in his throat, chest and stomach, the charge sheet said. He underwent surgery during which his gallbladder and part of his left lung were removed.
Doctors at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital later said that they had managed to stabilize the youth’s condition, which was upgraded to moderate.
The stabbing has been condemned as a hate crime by Arab lawmakers.
“We can’t accept any type of violence in our society, definitely not hate crimes,” Joint List party leader Ayman Odeh wrote earlier this month on Twitter. “The struggle against violence and crime in our community has reached the level of emergency, and is our top priority.”
In February, the LGBT rights organization Aguda released a report that found a 54 percent jump in the number of reported homophobic incidents between 2017 and 2018.
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