Druze student beaten by Jews ‘for speaking Arabic’

Tommy Hasson, 21, says he was attacked by about ten men in Jerusalem; president calls family to express support

The Central Bus Station in Jerusalem (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
The Central Bus Station in Jerusalem (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

A Druze university student was severely beaten Thursday near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, apparently after the assailants heard the young man speaking in Arabic. The attackers were reportedly Jewish and wore skull-caps, according to Ynet.

Twenty-one-year-old Tommy Hasson said about ten men assaulted him with broken glass bottles and other sharp objects. He added that the attackers had initially assaulted him verbally and spat on him after he conversed with a friend in Arabic.

Following the attack, Hasson 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 in the north to study music. Before being discharged from the army three months ago, Hasson served in the Druze Herev battalion and was later assigned a position at the President’s Residence.

President Reuven Rivlin on Friday called Hasson’s father to express support for the family and condemn the incident.

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

“Tommy, a Druze who was recently released from army service as the military secretary to the president, is hospitalized at Hadassah Hospital after being severely beaten last night,” Rivlin wrote on his Facebook page later Friday, in a post accompanied by a photo of Hasson and himself. It was not clear when the picture was taken.

“I talked to his father this morning and could not believe my ears. A man who is integrally linked to this country, attacked with such terrible violence. We are brothers, and all of us must condemn terrible behavior like that.”

Hasson was released from the hospital on Friday. Police launched an investigation into the beating, but have yet to locate any of the attackers.

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