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4 more charged over Jewish mob attack on Arab man in Bat Yam

Prosecutors say Saeed Mousa was given electric shocks, rammed with scooter, beaten with sticks; 1 suspect is a minor; 6 previously charged in brutal assault caught on tape in May

Saeed Mousa, an Arab Israeli who was assaulted by a Jewish Israeli mob, at Ichilov Medical Center, May 14, 2021 (video screenshot)
Saeed Mousa, an Arab Israeli who was assaulted by a Jewish Israeli mob, at Ichilov Medical Center, May 14, 2021 (video screenshot)

Four Jewish Israeli men were indicted on Thursday over a brutal mob beating of an Arab Israeli man in the central city of Bat Yam in May.

Three adults were charged with committing an act of terror, as well as vandalism and rioting. A minor was charged with aggravated assault and racially motivated vandalism, the Ynet news site reported.

Six others have previously been charged in the attack. According to the Haaretz daily, police have no further suspects, despite video footage showing around 20 perpetrators.

Saeed Mousa was seriously injured in the May attack, which was caught on live television and came amid severe ethnic tension between Jews and Arabs inside Israeli cities alongside an armed conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups.

The suspects charged on Thursday were identified as Maor Mughrabi, Moshe Mansour, Osher Itegev, and the minor, whose name is barred from publication. The four were arrested last week.

Mughrabi, a 21-year-old Bat Yam resident with no previous criminal record, was identified as one of the main attackers, seen slamming a scooter into Mousa’s head as he lay in the road, Haaretz reported.

A man beats a man lying prone on the ground in Bat Yam, amid interethnic violence across Israel, May 12, 2021. (Kan TV Screenshot)

Mansour, 28, also a resident of Bat Yam, is accused of being one of the individuals who dragged Mousa from his car and hit him to the ground. Mansour has previously been convicted of property offenses and is already facing separate charges for assaulting and threatening his partner, Haartez said.

Itegev, 23, from the central city of Holon, was allegedly identified in the video as a suspect who kicked Mousa several times and unsuccessfully tried to sic his dog on the victim. He has reportedly been previously charged with possession of drugs and a knuckleduster.

“[Mousa] was forcibly removed from his vehicle. Mansour slapped him to the floor and he and Mughrabi tried to kick him, while others shocked the complainant with an electroshock weapon, punched and kicked him and hit him with sticks,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors asked the court to remand the three until the end of the trial.

“The degree of violence and cruelty used shocked the public,” the prosecution said.

Six suspects have previously been charged over the mob attack.

Thirty-five-year-old David Bitayer was hit with a terror-related aggravated assault charge. Shai Simhon, 40, was charged with racially motivated theft and aggravated intentional assault. Yaakov Cohen, 31, was indicted on an intentional impairment of a vehicle charge. Netanel Binyamin, 25, was charged with attempted murder. Lahav Ohanina, 18, and an unnamed 16-year-old minor were indicted on terror charges.

Mousa was on his way to the beach in Bat Yam when he was set upon by a group that had gathered to attack Arabs and Arab-owned businesses in the Tel Aviv-area city, according to a previous charge sheet.

According to prosecutors, Mousa attempted to reverse away from the mob, but hit a car behind him. He then accelerated forward, with people jumping out of the way, before crashing into another car.

He was then dragged out of the car by the mob, with some claiming he had attempted to run over pedestrians, and beaten badly. He was taken to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition but his condition has improved since.

Following the incident, which was filmed and broadcast on live television, Ohanina told the Kan public broadcaster: “We went out on the street today to fight  with Arabs so we can show them that they cannot send missiles here. We are no longer children. We will fuck them. We will beat them. If necessary, we will kill them and if necessary murder them.”

Hundreds of indictments have been filed against Jews and Arabs over days of rioting in which mobs on each side attacked members of the opposite ethnicity, in a rash of violence not seen in decades. The tensions were partially fueled by the war with Gaza-based terrorists and violent pro-Palestinian protests in Jerusalem.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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