A pair of 17-year-old East Jerusalem residents suspected of slapping two ultra-Orthodox boys on the Jerusalem light rail last week has been arrested, police announced on Tuesday.
A video of the incident posted on TikTok showed a Palestinian man knocking the glasses off one of the young teenage boys and slapping the other in an apparently unprovoked assault.
Officers from the Israeli Border Police and the Jerusalem District police arrested one of the suspects at the Qalandiya crossing in the West Bank, after an intelligence operation located his whereabouts, police said.
A resident of the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem, he had fled to the West Bank to avoid arrest.
"לתפארת מדינת ישראל" pic.twitter.com/cbYl48uJly
— Shlomo Shapira (@Shlomo61) April 15, 2021
Four days ago, police arrested a different suspect, a 21-year-old from the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem. He was arrested after uploading the video to social media, though he is no longer suspected of slapping the teenage boys.
A caption above the video in Arabic had read: “You will continue to delete and I will continue to upload. It’s either the Palestinian people or you.”
The video caused an uproar online, with many sharing a phone number they claimed belonged to the suspect, calling to flood him with messages over the assault.
Last week, the father of one of the Haredi boys told the Kan public broadcaster his 14-year-old son returned home “upset, humiliated and afraid” following the incident.
“I told my son that from now on, he won’t take the light rail and we’ll make sure someone takes him. Today it’s a slap, tomorrow it could be something worse,” he said.