Assault victims interrogated as suspects

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in…

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Sunday, August 27, 2023, 12:34 Honenu Attorney Ophir Steiner wrote a letter to the police demanding that they investigate three Arabs who attacked two brothers, young yeshiva students from the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem, after they asked the Arabs to move their truck that was blocking the exit to a parking lot.

In his letter, Attorney Steiner described the brutal attack, “On August 18, 2023, the mother of two young yeshiva students, M. and E., tried to leave the parking lot of the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem. A truck in the service of the Jerusalem Municipality was parked at the exit to the lot and blocked it. The mother sat in her car because the truck driver refused to let her pass. After waiting for a long time, she phoned her two sons and told them what was happening. They came to the lot, approached the driver and his workers – all of them Arabs – and asked them to move the truck.

“The workers responded with curses and insults and refused to move the truck. They also called out racial slurs. E. had already gotten back into the car when one of the workers approached the car, blocked him from inside, and made obscene gestures at him. Then, another worker approached the car and punched M. When E. saw that his brother had been assaulted and that the assailant intended to hit him too, he got out of the car and tried to push the assailant back. E. could not help his brother, because the worker whom he tried to push back punched him in the face and upper body.”

“At this point, the worker who had made obscene gestures went away and returned with a hammer. He hit E. hard on the back with the hammer. E. turned around and looked at the worker holding the hammer and saw that he had raised it high to hit him again, this time on his head. E. covered his face with his hands to protect himself from the life-threatening blow. The worker hit E. hard with the hammer and broke his arm. M., who had escaped the grasp of the Arab driver, tried to push away the worker who was beating his brother and rushed to the worker holding the hammer and knocked him to the ground,” described Attorney Steiner.

Attorney Steiner continued: “Police officers and MDA [EMT] personnel arrived on the scene. E. was rushed to the hospital. As he was lifted into the ambulance, a police officer told him that he must report to the police station with his brother, who accompanied him to the hospital, immediately after his release. The officer clarified that if they did not, they would be brought to the police station as detainees. When they arrived at the station, the brothers were taken into interrogation rooms. Initially, they innocently thought that the police were taking their testimony. However, during the questioning, it became clear to them that they were being interrogated under warning. The interrogators explained to them that the Arabs had also filed a complaint and that the incident was being investigated as a mutual clash.” Attorney Steiner emphasized in the letter that the incident was a one-sided nationalistically motivated attack and called on the police to arrest the attackers and put them on trial.

Honenu Attorney Ophir Steiner: “The treatment by the police of the young victims was inexplicable, to say the least, from the first moment. When the injured brother was bleeding in the ambulance, a police officer hurried to inform him that he must report to the station for questioning with his brother or else they would both be taken in as detainees. While they were being treated at the hospital, the Arab assailants filed baseless complaints against them. At the station, they were interrogated as suspects and required to sign on bail to be released. This was after they had testified about a nationalistically motivated attack that could have ended with much more serious injuries. The police must thoroughly investigate the incident, and when the severity of the attack becomes obvious, they must prosecute the attackers to the full extent of the law.”

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