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

Police say new arrests include a minor; 6 others 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)

Police on Wednesday announced that four more suspects were to be charged over a brutal mob beating of an Arab Israeli man in the central city of Bat Yam in May, bringing the number of people accused in the ethnically charged attack to ten.

Saeed Mousa was seriously injured in the 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 four suspects arrested last week were not initially identified, but police said three of them are in their 30s, from Bat Yam and nearby Holon, and the fourth is a minor from a central town.

So far, six suspects have already been officially charged over the 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. His condition has improved since.

The previous six suspects were charged at the Tel Aviv District Court. Judges extended the four new suspects’ detention until Thursday, when the court intends to indict them over the assault.

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

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.

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