An East Jerusalem man was indicted Sunday for beating up and humiliating two Jewish Israelis, and charged with racially motivated aggravated assault. He allegedly forced the two men to praise Hamas, mock Israel and its prime minister, kiss his hands and say incantations that are part of conversion to Islam.
According to the charge sheet presented by the prosecution at the Jerusalem District Court, Ahmad Farrukh, 19, from the neighborhood of Silwan, was smoking a hookah with a friend in the early morning of December 30 when he noticed two ultra-Orthodox Jews walking up the neighborhood’s Wadi Hilwa street. The two, yeshivah students, were on their way to a local mikveh, or ritual bath, at the Pool of Siloam.
When Farrukh and his friend saw the two men, the friend walked up to them and hit one of them on the head, according to the indictment. The two fled, “terrified,” and hid for some time behind a parked car, before heading on to the mikveh.
About half an hour after finishing their ritual immersion, the two made their way back up Wadi Hilwa street, heading toward the Western Wall.
The defendant and his friend, who were again smoking a hookah, saw them and allegedly got up, walked toward the Jews and outflanked them. While his friend blocked their path, Farrukh stood behind them “with the intention of assaulting and humiliating them because of their Jewish identity,” the charge sheet alleged.
The two then proceeded to force their victims to praise Palestinian terror group Hamas, to mock Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the police and the State of Israel, to kiss the attackers’ hands and to repeat, in Arabic, words from the Muslim declaration of faith, or Shahada.
The two Jews also told Hebrew media that their attackers tied the sidelocks of one to the other.
The state prosecutor requested that the court extend Farrukh’s remand until the end of proceedings against him. There was no word about Farrukh’s friend being charged.
Honenu, a right-wing legal aid organization assisting the two victims, praised the indictment, saying, “The racist anti-Semitic assault is part of a trend of harming Jews. We call on the justice system to treat the terrorists with the necessary stringency and strengthen the deterrence.”