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Four Jews charged with attempted murder over racist attack on Arab men in Bat Yam

Victims, one in wheelchair, were sitting with Jewish friends; assailants asked if they were Arab and then returned with weapons, including improvised firearm

Illustrative. Israel Police in Bat Yam. on February 27, 2017. (Moti Karelitz/ Flash90/ File)
Illustrative. Israel Police in Bat Yam. on February 27, 2017. (Moti Karelitz/ Flash90/ File)

Police said Thursday that they had arrested four Jewish Israelis from the central city of Bat Yam over an apparently racist attack on two Arab men and two Jewish women.

Police said that in the November 14 early morning incident, two Arabs from Jaffa — aged 27 and 24 — were speaking in Arabic with two Jewish women from Tel Aviv, aged 20 and 19, at a public park in Bat Yam, when three men and a woman passed by and asked them if everything was okay.

Around 20 minutes later, three of the suspects returned and attacked them with various weapons including knives and an improvised firearm that hit one of the women. Three of the victims required hospitalization.

Police said the investigation concluded that the motive for the attack was nationalistic and that one of the suspects was found to be in possession of a makeshift “Carlo-style” submachine gun.

The suspects — a woman aged 20 and three men aged 24, 22 and 21 — were arrested and remanded in custody.

They were arraigned in court on Tuesday and prosecutors are expected to indict them for attempted murder and use of weapons. The woman will face a pre-indictment hearing, police said.

An improvised firearm — apparently creating by modifying a stapling gun — used in an allegedly racist attack in November 2021 in Bat Yam. (Israel Police)

“I was sitting with my friend, who was in a wheelchair, when three Jews passed by and asked us what was going on, and we told them that everything was fine,” one of the victims told Hebrew media at the time. “Then they came back with the same clothes but were wearing masks. They had knives and all sorts of weapons. They tried to stab us as much as they could. They stabbed me in the head.”

Bat Yam has seen growing racist violence, including a brutal attack by a Jewish mob on an Arab man during May’s conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups. That incident was caught on live television and shocked the nation amid spiraling ethnic tensions between Jews and Arabs in Israeli cities, fanned by the armed conflict in Gaza.

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