Jerusalem Police arrest seven youths on suspicion of assaulting young Arab men in the capital after having a 14-year-old girl seduce them and lead them to meeting point. Police say the suspects admitted their acts were nationalistically-motivated.
Teens suspected of attacking Arabs
Jerusalem Police arrest seven youths on suspicion of assaulting young Arab men in capital after having teenage girl seduce them, lead them to meeting point. Police say suspects confessed their acts were nationalistically-motivated
Yair Altman • Ynet
Cleared for publication: The Jerusalem Police have arrested seven youths and two young men from Jerusalem and nearby settlements on suspicion of assaulting young Arab men after having a 14-year-old girl seduce them.
The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Tuesday released three of the teens on bail under limiting conditions.
The police launched an investigation after receiving complaints from many young Arab men, who said they had been assaulted by a group of youths in the city. The number of Arabs attacked is unclear.
According to the suspicions, the attacks took place in Jerusalem's Independence Park and several other locations in the capital. The teens were aided by a girl their age, who seduced the Arab men by asking them for alcoholic beverages and implying that she was interested in having sex with them.
The girl would then lead the young men to a meeting point in the park, where they were allegedly brutally attacked by the teens with stones, glass bottles and tear gas. Police suspect the girl took part in three of the assaults.
'Show us your ID card'
During one of the incidents, the victim cried out that he was not an Arab and begged the youths to stop beating him. They demanded that he show them his identity card, and continued hitting him after verifying that he was in fact an Arab. They then burned his identity card and escaped.
In another incident, they beat up an Arab youth until he lost consciousness, and escaped after presuming that he was dead.
The investigation revealed that the assaults were mostly carried out on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Some of the victims were hospitalized. Significant progress was made in the investigation after the police received intelligence information which led them to one of the suspects.
The suspect admitted to the allegations and led his investigators to the other gang members. According to the police, all the suspects confessed that their acts were nationalistically-motivated. Further arrests are expected.
The police stressed that the arrests were not linked to the attack of a Chilean tourist who was attacked in the same park last month.
The girl appears to be an Ethiopian Jew.
Here is the Ha'aretz report, which mentions the boys are Orthodox:
Teen gang arrested on suspicion of attacking Arabs in Jerusalem
Seven of nine suspects are minors who allegedly used a 14-year-old girl to lure Arabs into a schoolyard, where they would pelt them with rocks, bottles and pepper spray.
Israeli security force have arrested nine suspects over the last two weeks suspected in a string of attacks against Arab in central Jerusalem, it emerged Tuesday after a gag order on the investigation was lifted.
Seven of the nine suspects are minors and all are residents of Jerusalem or West Bank settlements. The suspects were released to house arrest following questioning.
An initial investigation has found that the nine individuals formed a gang that used the prowess of a 14-year-old girl to lure their prey. She would approach the chosen victim, ask them for a cigarette or invite them for a walk, and then lead them to where the assailants were waiting – the schoolyard of the Experimental School in Jerusalem, the Independence Park or a nearby pedestrian plaza.
As soon as the girl would arrive with the victim, the assailants would begin to pelt them with rocks, bottles or even pepper spray, according to details of the investigation.
The Jerusalem Police believe that the nine are members of an organized gang led by a 14-year-old boy, that has made nationalist attacks against Arabs its central goal.
The young men have reportedly been roaming in and around Independence Park seeking Arabs to attack, trying to identify them by their accent. Haaretz has learned of a number of attacks over the last few months, and the stabbing of an Arab in July.
The same gang is suspected of attacking a Chilean tourist who they mistook for an Arab, an incident that stirred uproar in the South American media and angered the local immigrant community.
Silwan resident Annan Yagmor, 21, an alleged victim of one of these attacks in November, he was approached by a group of men in Independence Park as he was walking home.
They asked him for a cigarette, accompanied him a short way, jumped him and beat him. He said they wanted to see his ID card and shouted "Arab, Arab." They also sprayed him with tear gas.
Adem Sabih said he was similarly attacked on October 31 in the same area, by 20 or 30 skullcap-wearing young men. They asked him his name and then jumped him; one shouted "kill that Arab." He said he was smashed in the head with a rock several times before he could flee.
Jerusalem City Councilman Meir Margalit said it appeared that "a gang of thugs," some with large knitted skullcaps and others with black skullcaps, were terrorizing East Jerusalem Arabs. He said he could not "shake the feeling that if the situation were reversed, if Jews were being attacked by Arabs, the authorities' response would be different."
Photo: Girl suspected of seducing and luring Arabs.