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Court issues first sentence over Jewish mob’s attack on Arab man in Bat Yam

Lahav Nagauker jailed for a year in plea deal; did not participate in unprovoked beating that left Saeed Mousa seriously injured during May war, but was party to it

Dozens attack the vehicle of Saeed Mousa, an Arab man, in Bat Yam on May 12, 2021. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Dozens attack the vehicle of Saeed Mousa, an Arab man, in Bat Yam on May 12, 2021. (Screenshot: Twitter)

A Tel Aviv court on Wednesday sentenced a man to one year in prison for his involvement in a mob attack on an Arab motorist during a spasm of communal violence last year.

Lahav Nagauker, who was 20 at the time, was convicted of incitement to violence and racism as part of a plea deal that resulted in lighter charges.

His sentencing was the first in the incident that took place last May, when a mob yanked Saeed Mousa from his car and proceeded to beat him in an assault that left him motionless and bloodied on the ground, and seriously injured.

The court said Nagauker was not involved in the actual attack, but threw a bottle at Moussa’s car, damaging the rear windshield.

The beating, which took place in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, occurred while Israel was at war with the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. The 11-day war ignited an unprecedented wave of internecine Jewish-Arab violence in cities around the country.

The unprovoked beating of the motorist was caught on live television, shocking the public. Nagauker was interviewed live moments after the beating, telling a reporter “we came tonight to fight with Arabs… if we must we will kill them, and if we must we will murder them.”

According to the plea deal, Nagauker confessed to the charges against him. His one-year prison term is retroactive to the day he was arrested in May. He was also ordered to pay NIS 2,000 ($645) to a restaurant damaged in the unrest.

Nagauker is among at least 10 people who were charged in the incident. In all, hundreds of people, mostly Arabs, were arrested for the nationwide violence, which saw mobs of Jews and Arabs vandalize property and violently clash, in some cases resulting in deaths.

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

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 an indictment filed in the case.

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 was beaten badly. He was taken to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition, and his health has improved since.

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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