Two Jerusalem courts have charged nine youths for attacking and seriously injuring an Arab youth in Jerusalem city centre on August 17. The charges, which were announced on 28 August, include: assault and battery, racial incitement and inciting violence. Police said the attack was an unprovoked, “extremely severe crime” that had been instigated only because the victims were Arabs.
According to the indictment of the oldest youth in the group, who is 19 years old, around 60 youths sat in central Jerusalem’s Hatulot Square, and started harassing Arab youths in the area, telling them they could not sit there. The Jewish youths also chanted, “Muhammed is dead!” and “Death to Arabs.” At around 11.30pm, the indictment states that some 30 people in the group moved toward Zion Square with the goal of “beating up Arabs”. One 17- year-old Arab, Jamal Julani, fell as he was running and was immediately surrounded by the Jewish teens and beaten to a critical condition by the attackers.
The attack drew widespread condemnation from Israel’s leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Netanyahu said that “in the State of Israel we aren’t willing to tolerate racism and we aren’t willing to tolerate the combination of racism and violence,” adding that “This is something that we cannot accept - neither as Jews nor as Israelis.” Netanyahu had emphasised, “This is not our way; this is opposed to our ways; and we condemn it in word and deed. We will quickly bring to justice those responsible for this reprehensible incident.”