A Druze IDF soldier was beaten over the weekend in a nightclub in northern Israel, apparently after the assailants heard the young man speaking in Arabic.
Razzi Houseysa, 19, a soldier in the Golani Brigade from the Druze village of Daliyat al-Karmel, said he was out with friends overnight Thursday-Friday in Kibbutz Yagur southeast of Haifa when he was attacked by a group of Jewish men.
“Razzi was on leave from the army, he was out with a friend who is also an IDF soldier when the two noticed a group of guys eyeing them in the club,” Amer Houseysa, Razzi’s cousin, told The Times of Israel.
Housesya said the group began confronting the two soldiers, after which an argument broke out.
“Razzi and his friend decided to leave. They were not drunk and they did not want any trouble. They left and went to their car, but the group followed them,” he went on, adding that as they were driving off Razzi had a huge stone thrown in his face.
Houseysa was hospitalized at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa where he underwent surgery on his right eye. He also sustained a series of head wounds. His condition was described as light-to-moderate. The friend he was with was not harmed.
Houseysa said police arrived after the incident to take a statement but that his cousin was under no condition to speak at the time.
“We’ve not heard from the police since,” he said.
Houseysa’s family was set to file an official complaint with police Saturday night, Channel 10 reported.
The head of the Daliyat al-Karmel Regional Council, Rafik Halabi, urged police to investigate the matter swiftly and bring the assailants to justice.
“This is the second instance within two weeks in which a Druze soldier who has served the state, was attacked for speaking Arabic,” Halabi said, in reference to a January incident in which Druze university student Tommy Hasson was severely beaten near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, also after he was heard speaking Arabic.
Six Jewish men were arrested in that incident.
Hasson, 21, had served in the Druze Herev Battalion and was later assigned to a position at the President’s Residence. Following the attack, he was rushed to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in the capital, where he underwent emergency medical treatment for various injuries.
Hasson had recently moved to Jerusalem from his home town of Daliyat al-Karmel to study music.
President Reuven Rivlin called Hasson’s family after the attack to express support for the family and condemn the incident.