Police say 6 arrested for assaulting off-duty soldier in Jaffa

Suspects, in their 20s, face charges for attack that left serviceman badly hurt; meanwhile, reports say there are growing indications killing of Jewish man in Lod was nationalistic

Leon Shranin, 19, was seriously wounded by an Arab mob amid rioting in Jaffa. (Screenshot: Channel 13)
Leon Shranin, 19, was seriously wounded by an Arab mob amid rioting in Jaffa. (Screenshot: Channel 13)

Police on Monday said they had arrested six suspects accused of beating an IDF soldier in uniform and causing him serious injuries during a mob attack in the coastal city of Jaffa.

The arrests took place last month, but had been under a gag order.

“A serious indictment will be filed along with a request to hold them until the end of proceedings,” police said in a statement.

Police said that a joint undercover operation with the Shin Bet security service was carried out in May against the suspects, all residents of Jaffa in their twenties. The suspects’ remand was repeatedly extended at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court during the investigation.

The 19-year-old soldier, Leon Shranin, is still undergoing rehabilitation treatment at the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, police said.

On May 13, Shranin was left in serious condition after being beaten, suffering a skull fracture and a cerebral hemorrhage, Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv said at the time.

Shranin later told Channel 12 News he had been heading to his grandfather’s home in Bat Yam, a nearby city.

“There shouldn’t be clashes, it’s unnecessary, it’s nonsense,” Shranin told the network.

Shranin was able to drive himself to the hospital after he had been attacked.

The attack on Shranin came during a period of unrest that saw the worse violence between the Jewish and Arab communities in decades.

Also on Monday the Haaretz daily reported that there are growing indications that last month’s killing of Yigal Yehoshua in Lod in Jewish-Arab violence was committed by an Arab mob with a nationalistic motive.

Yigal Yehoshua, 56, died after being struck in the head with a brick while driving home in Lod. (Courtesy)

The newspaper cited unnamed law enforcement officials saying there had been several significant developments over the past two weeks in the police investigation into the incident.

The sources added, however, that the murder charge was difficult to prove at this point.

In May, amid intense fighting with Gaza and tensions in Jerusalem, Israel’s ethnically mixed Jewish and Arab communities erupted in mob violence, turning cities into veritable war zones, with police failing to contain the most serious internal unrest to grip the country in years.

In the weeks after the violence simmered down police followed up with a major operation to apprehend suspects for involvement in the violence and that has led to the arrest of over 1,550 people, the majority Arab Israelis. Over 150 indictments have been filed.

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