Jerusalem Arab beaten by three brothers, say police

Jewish suspects accused of following construction worker, violently assaulting him; motive not yet known

Illustrative photo of a police arrest (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a police arrest (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)

Three Jerusalem brothers were arrested on suspicion that they had beaten a Palestinian construction worker with an iron rod, lightly injuring him.

According to police, a verbal fight broke out between two of the brothers and Palestinian workers at a building site in the capital on Sunday, Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. The two brothers left the scene, investigators said, only to return with another sibling a short while later. After noticing the three brothers, aged 21, 28 and 31, the construction workers fled the site.

The brothers, who are Jewish, are accused of following one of the Arab workers who ran to hide in a convenience store and violently assaulting him. A security camera at the store recorded footage of the brothers beating the man with an iron rod and a pole, then fleeing the area.

The man suffered light injuries and later called the police, who after a short investigation were able to locate the brothers and apprehend them.

After their arrest, the three suspects claimed they had acted in self defense.

On Tuesday, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court extended the remand of the brothers for four more days.

The motive for the incident is unclear, but inter-ethnic tensions are high in the capital in the wake of the summer’s Gaza war.

On Tuesday, the words “don’t hire Arabs” were found graffitied at a construction site in central Jerusalem. Most construction projects in the capital rely on Palestinian workers.

“Price tag” refers to vandalism and other hate crimes carried out by Jewish ultra-nationalists. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by such vandals in recent years in acts described by their perpetrators as revenge attacks for Israeli government policies deemed pro-Palestinian by the attackers, including the evacuation of illegal Jewish outposts in the West Bank. The acts have been condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.

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