Case closed on suspected racially motivated beating of Druze IDF vet

Tommy Hasson, who said a gang of religious Jews attacked him for speaking Arabic last year, claims discrimination a factor in decision

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of an Israel Police car in Jerusalem, June 2012 (Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an Israel Police car in Jerusalem, June 2012 (Uri Lenz/Flash90)

The Jerusalem prosecutor’s office on Monday closed the case on a suspected racially motivated assault of a Druze student by a group of Jews in the capital last year.

The prosecutors cited a “lack of evidence and the inability to fully identify the attackers” as reasons for closing the case into the violent attack on Tommy Hasson, the Ynet news website reported.

Last January, Hasson said a group of religious Jewish men assaulted him with broken glass bottles and other sharp objects outside the Central Bus Station after they heard him speaking in Arabic.

Hasson, a Israel Defense Forces veteran, told media outlets at the time the 10 men, who were all wearing skullcaps, also taunted him and spat on him.

Hasson was rushed to the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem Hospital, where he underwent emergency treatment for various injuries.

Police made six arrests — of four adults and two minors — later that month in connection with the attack. None was indicted, even though the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court branded the attack on Hasson a “severe” and “nationalistically motivated” crime.

טומי, בן העדה הדרוזית, השתחרר לאחרונה משירות צבאי מסור במזכירות הצבאית של בית הנשיא. כעת הוא מאושפז בהדסה עין כרם לאחר…

Posted by ‎Reuven Ruvi Rivlin – ראובן רובי ריבלין‎ on Friday, January 23, 2015

Hasson expressed disappointment Sunday over the decision and alleged that discrimination was a factor.

“I’m really disappointed,” he told Ynet. “They know exactly who attacked me. I’m sure that if the incident happened the other way around, if a Jew had been attacked by Arabs, everything would have ended differently.”

Hasson moved to the capital from his home town of Daliyat al-Karmel in northern Israel in 2014 to study piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

The 22-year-old previously served in the IDF’s Druze Herev battalion and was later assigned to a post at the President’s Residence.

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