Thursday, November 29, 2018, 18:06 A case against Arab youths who assaulted a Jewish
minor and his friend in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem has been closed by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s office due to “lack of evidence”, despite the fact that the minor identified at least some of the assailants and filed a complaint. Honenu intends to appeal the decision.
The assault occurred in September 2018, several days before Yom Kippur, when the minor was on his way to the Western Wall with a friend. After they asked for directions, an Arab youth in the Muslim Quarter misled them into an alley which does not have security cameras, and then, together with over 10 other Arab youths, aggressively beat them. The minor’s friend escaped and called for help while the assailants beat the minor, who was subsequently evacuated to Hadassah Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion and other injures which required facial surgery.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the minor, sent a letter to the Jerusalem District Attorney’s offices requesting permission to examine the investigatory evidence in the case in order to file an appeal against the decision to close the case. In his request Bleicher specified that, “The matter at hand is a serious assault and the amount of time that passes is significant.”
The minor described the incident: “I went to selichot [prayers] two days before Yom Kippur. My friend and I got off the bus at the Lions’ Gate and proceeded to the Western Wall, until we lost our way. We asked Arabs on the way how to get there, and they told us to enter a certain alley. We entered the alley, and towards its end about ten guys jumped on us, beat me in the head and shoulders.”
The minor’s friend succeeded in escaping, hid and summoned the police while the minor was severely beaten. The minor continued: “One of the Arabs told me in the middle of the assault, ‘You wanted the Western Wall? This is the Western Wall!’. I was evacuated to Hadassah [Hospital]. I was there for a day and a half. They operated on my eyes and nose.”
The minor said that by the evening after the assault, the police had already apprehended a suspect who had been at the scene of the incident: “The police caught one [assailant] on the scene. They summoned me to the investigation and I identified some of the assailants. One of the policemen at the station asked me if we had antagonized them [the assailants] before the assault.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the assaulted minor, stated that, “An anti-Semitic assault in the capital of Jerusalem carried out by a large number of minorities without there being even one to stop it indicates that the Jewish People has not yet reached ‘a state of tranquility’ and is required to fight with an iron hand against those who would take their lives.
“The police are aware of who the guilty parties are in the incident, who carried it out. Everyone who was present there at the time is part of the assault, for no-one assisted the minor or called the police. Even if there is not an exact identification of who hit him where, it cannot be that everyone involved will go free without any trial.
“A terror attack such as this, even though it was concealed from the security cameras, should be investigated with all the means suitable for a murder case. The investigation should be opened against all of those present at the scene at the time, and it should be done by a special investigative unit. The suspects who were released due to lack of evidence pose a danger, and we demand immediate action to rectify the situation.”