7 Jewish Israelis arrested for attack on Arab man last month

Shin Bet and police say 60-year-old Taibe resident was pepper-sprayed and stabbed near a mosque in Herzliya during Jewish-Arab unrest

Border police patrol the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod after riots. May 19, 2021 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Border police patrol the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod after riots. May 19, 2021 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Israel Police and Shin Bet security service revealed on Thursday that they had arrested seven residents of Herzliya and the surrounding area for their alleged involvement in an attack on an Arab Israeli man from Taibe last month.

The alleged attack was carried out on May 12, early in the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, during which violence between Jewish and Arab Israelis flared up in cities across the country.

Israeli authorities said that the incident was first reported when a man was found wounded in his car near the Sidna Ali Mosque in Herzliya. The man, a Taibe resident in his 60s, was brought to the hospital in moderate condition.

“The initial findings from investigations in the field indicate that a group of masked men attacked the victim, spraying him with pepper spray and stabbing him with a sharp object,” said a joint statement from the Israel Police and the Shin Bet. The monthlong investigation led police to identify the seven individuals allegedly responsible for the attack, who were arrested and are expected to be charged in the coming days in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

Screen capture from video of a crowd of Jewish protestors pulling an Arab man from his vehicle in Bet Yam, May 21, 2021. (Twitter)

The statement said that prosecutors are expected to file a request to keep the suspects in custody until the conclusion of the legal proceedings.

“The Shin Bet will continue to operate resolutely to thwart terrorism and bring to justice all those who took part in the terrorist attacks,” the statement read.

Tensions between Israel’s Jewish and Arab communities spiraled into mob violence during Operation Guardian of the Walls, turning some ostensibly ethnically integrated cities into veritable war zones in the most serious internal unrest to grip the country in years.

Authorities on Monday charged three more people over a brutal mob beating of an Arab man in Bat Yam last month, bringing the number of people accused in the ethnically charged attack to six. Saeed Mousa was seriously injured in the May 12 attack, which was caught on live television.

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