Jerusalem brothers indicted for beating Arab workers

Three suspects accused of racially motivated aggravated assault after chasing two men with iron rods

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

Three Jewish brothers from Jerusalem were indicted Monday for assaulting two Arab municipality workers last week with iron rods.

The three culprits were named as Shlomo Ofri, 30, David Ofri, 28, and Eliezer Ofri, 21. They are accused of targeting two Arab men in a hate crime, according to Channel 10.

The indictment, which charged the brothers with racially motivated aggravated assault, said that last week, the Ofri brothers stopped their car next to two workers who were painting parking spaces, and began hurling racial epithets.

The brothers exited their vehicle and began chasing the two workers, the TV report said. One of the victims ran into a convenience store to hide in the bathroom, with the brothers at his tail. The suspects knocked over shelves and said “the Arab would pay” for the damage.

A security camera at the store recorded footage of the brothers apparently 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. According to Channel 10, the victim’s arm was hurt, and his face was scratched.

The three were arrested last Tuesday.

The attack came as interethnic tensions remained high in the capital in the wake of the summer’s Gaza war, and the killing of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir.

Last 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.

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