"אתה גיבור, הצלת לנו את החיים" | שלושת הצעירים הערבים שהותקפו בקריית חיים נפגשו עם היהודי שהרחיק מהם את התוקפים. דודם של השלושה הודה לו ולחץ את ידו: "צריך לשים קץ לתופעות הבזויות האלה, כל אדם הוא אדם" @nassar_furat https://t.co/Vit7vYwdNP pic.twitter.com/uueKhiuYkg— החדשות (@NewsChannelIL) August 26, 2018
Three Arab Israelis who were brutally beaten in the northern city of Haifa last week, allegedly by a group of Jews, on Sunday met with and thanked the Jewish man who saved them, as Israel’s president condemned the apparent hate crime.
The three victims, a doctor and two nurses from the northern town of Shfaram, filed a complaint with police Thursday, telling investigators they were relaxing on the beach the night before when they were approached by a man who asked them if they were Arabs.
After replying that they were, the suspect allegedly left and came back with some nine other people and proceeded to beat the three beach-goers with knives and metal bars.
“No matter a person’s religion, race or gender, a human must be treated as a human,” said the uncle of the three victims during their meeting with Yair Alaluf, who together with another man separated the attackers from the victims and stopped the assault. Alaluf also called the police and an ambulance.
“I want to thank you in the name of all residents of Shfaram for your generosity,” the uncle told Alaluf. “We hope there will be more people like you in the Israeli public and that we will be able to put an end to all these contemptible events.”
He also said he intends to invite Alaluf to Shfaram to visit his home in a sign of respect.
The Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Saturday ordered a 23-year-old suspect, a resident of Nesher, placed under house arrest for three days.
A second suspect, a 29-year-old, also from Nesher, who was arrested by police on Saturday, was also sent to house arrest on Sunday after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to justify keeping him in detention.
The suspect claimed he wasn’t at the beach at the time of the attack and said he had “no idea” why he was arrested.
Both suspects’ names have been placed under a court-imposed gag order.
President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday condemned the incident during a visit to the Arab town of Kafr Kassem, calling on police to quickly conclude the investigation.
“We need to understand that such extremism can lead us to lose control [of the situation],” Rivlin told residents. “We are all destined to live here together in this country and are not doomed to live like this.”
One of the victims described the attack as unprovoked and nationalistically motivated.
“They came over with knives, with metal bars. They just started beating us for no reason,” one of the victims, whose name was withheld, told Hadashot TV news on Saturday. “They planned to kill us, all three of us.”
“This was a nationalistic attack,” he added.
“Not all people are bad like these guys were. The people who helped us were these two Jews who got the group to get away,” he said. “Not all the people are the same, and we are also part of the nation of Israel.”
The three victims were taken to hospital to receive medical attention for their injuries.
Another victim said it was the first time he had encountered such violence. “How can someone ask someone what they are and then beat them?” he said. “Are we not allowed to be here because we’re Arabs? This is a public place and all Israelis are allowed. I was born here in Haifa.”