Teen arrested in suspected homophobic attack in Jaffa

16-year-old Lod resident to appear for hearing later Tuesday; is believed to have attacked 2 men after seeing them kissing

A screen capture from video of a suspected homophobic assault at the Jaffa Port on August 1, 2020. (Screen capture: Twitter)
A screen capture from video of a suspected homophobic assault at the Jaffa Port on August 1, 2020. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a teenager over a suspected homophobic attack on two gay men at the Jaffa Port.

The suspect was identified by police as a 16-year-old from the central city of Lod. He is being investigated for suspected aggravated assault and committing crimes with a racist motive.

“The investigation continues,” a police statement said.

The suspect was set to be brought before a court later Tuesday for a remand hearing.

The announcement of the Monday arrest came after video footage of Saturday night’s assault was shared widely on social media.

According to the Ynet news site, the suspect apparently attacked the two men, who are believed to be Arab Israelis, after seeing them kissing near a boat.

Itzik, the owner of a boat docked at the port, told the news site he tried to hold back the attacker.

“When I caught the assailant, I shook him and asked why you’re doing things like this,” he said. “He replied to me, ‘We’re Arabs and among Arabs there are no gays and if there are any we kill them immediately.'”

News of the arrest was welcomed by LGBT right groups Israel Gay Youth.

“The tough blows seen in the video are the nightmare of every LGBT young person in Israel,” it said. “It must be clear: Violence toward LGBTs continues to rage and we must fight it with all strength and in all parts of Israeli society.”

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